Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ken Schram: "It's time to legalize marijuana"

Ken Schram (
Washington state criminalized marijuana back in 1923.

The United States was well into the noble experiment of prohibition by then, as many held that the government knew best when it came to intoxicants and drugs.

It took 14 years and the rise of criminal enterprise before the admission that society would be better served if alcohol was licensed, regulated and taxed.

After almost a century, the same dawn is beginning to break on marijuana.

State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson has a bill that would treat pot pretty much the same as liquor.

She believes it's time to get pot out of the hands of criminals.

She wants to regulate and license commercial growth.

She wants to sell it in state liquor stores, and she wants to tax it.

Dickerson estimates the state would earn at least $200 million a year with this.

This idea is long overdue and deserves the serious attention of state lawmakers.

And while any state law legalizing marijuana would be counter to federal law, remember this: It was individual states that began to reject the anti-liquor laws and ultimately forced Congress to give up the ghost on prohibition.

Time to do the same with marijuana.

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