I would like to comment about the July 14-20 letter from Larry Penner titled “Gov’t should legalize marijuana.”
Penner omitted the benefits of illegal marijuana.
The overtime needed to process those 50,000 arrests, the salaries of prison guards, the need to house all those criminals, the prison workers needed, the amounts paid by families to visit the prisoners (they all seem to be upstate, hundreds of miles from their homes and families), all the narcs on the payroll and, last but not least, all the profits of the drug lords, especially in Mexico.
I say to Penner, to paraphrase the current trend, “Keep the government out of my business.” To be serious, though, Penner does not see the forest for the trees.
Our whole War on Drugs is more of a failure than Prohibition ever was. We have many thousands in jail. We — and I mean the United States — are responsible for the estimated 40,000 people who have been killed in Mexico alone, due to the need to supply our country with its drugs.
I have not heard of any estimates about killings here in America, so I will not even venture a guess. These deaths are for the control of distribution and sale of drugs. If drugs are legalized, there would be no need for the drug lords.
A lot of the crimes Penner would have the police attend to, instead of attention on marijuana arrests, would not even occur if all drugs were legalized.
I would like to also correct a statement Penner made: “and those who know what is good for you.” He should have said “and those who know what is bad for you.”