Letters to the Editor

The real reason America should be in favor of legalization

The stigma of marijuana is a brick wall that our society needs to get past. Legalization is not so much about people wanting to get high; it is about the economy.

People against legalization need to see the “big picture.” More than 70 years of anti-marijuana propaganda and prejudices have created generations of Americans who simply don’t know the truth.

Tax revenues that currently fund a failed and expensive drug war could be used to help our country in this time of recession. Hemp is the biggest reason to legalize. As long as marijuana remains illegal, and prejudiced stereotypes prevail; hemp will always have difficulty regaining its historic status as a viable and eco-friendly agricultural crop.

In this time of crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, we need to consider renewable and less hazardous fuel sources. Hemp is one of the highest yielding crops in bio-mass, and is far more efficient than corn as a fuel crop.

More than 250,000 products can be made from hemp. This could be a huge boon to bring manufacturing back to the United States. Hemp and marijuana can be used for the manufacture of medicines, biodegradable plastics, clothing and other fiber based products.

To say “no” to legalization means we will continue to jail non-violent criminals and break up families, while consequently removing tax contributors from our system and turning them into tax consumers by means of our justice and prison system.

Medicinal users will continue to be victimized by current laws, which are poorly written and offer little protection from federal legislation.

Continuing prohibition will only contribute to illegal border crossings and drug cartel violence. Our laws create the very criminals we detest. This is a national security issue.

Without legalization, America will fall behind other countries on yet another multi-billion dollar opportunity for the countless textile, food, and medicinal products that can be grown in any state in the United States.

We will continue to lose forests, spread pesticides and overuse fertilizers, all because we choose to ignore a plant that can replace all of these.

America’s drug problems should be treated as a mental and public health issue. The current approach isn’t working and it is costing tax payers plenty.

Create jobs while saving the planet?

Now, that is change I can believe in.

Now is the time to impact change in Washington State to secure our future in agriculture and industry. California and Oregon are in the process of getting marijuana reform legislation on their ballots also. The entire West Coast is poised to set the pace for the rest of America.

Sensible Washington I-1068 — Marijuana Reform Act serves to remove criminal penalties from the adult use, possession and cultivation of marijuana in Washington State.

Three business are currently hosting I-1068 petitions in North Kitsap, they are: MoeJoe Coffee Co. in Kingston, Bella Luna Pizzeria in Suquamish, and Jimmie’s Java in Poulsbo. Recent polls favor legalization. I urge everyone to sign, so voters can decide the issue in November.

Troy Barber

Sensible Washington I-1068

Poulsbo Coordinator

Sensible Kitsap

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