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Re: [MPD-5D] Chief Lanier's comment on Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

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  • teabelly
    Some things I wonder about: - How has marijuana prohibition impacted consumption? - Can a controlled legitimate market have benefits over a black market? - How
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 11, 2013
      Some things I wonder about:

      • How has marijuana prohibition impacted consumption?  
      • Can a controlled legitimate market have benefits over a black market?
      • How much does enforcing marijuana prohibition cost the District?
      • It is my understanding that marijuana does not kill people, though legal controlled drugs such as alcohol and tobacco do.  What is the justification for alcohol and tobacco legality?
        • Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose. According to the prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet, "The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. ... It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat ... than alcohol or tobacco."
      • How much income could DC generate taxing and controlling marijuana like Washington State or Colorado?
        • NORML supports the eventual development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source. This policy, generally known as legalization, exists on various levels in a handful of European countries like The Netherlands and Switzerland, both of which enjoy lower rates of adolescent marijuana use than the U.S. Such a system would reduce many of the problems presently associated with the prohibition of marijuana, including the crime, corruption and violence associated with a "black market."
        • A CATO report estimates that drug legalization would yield tax revenue of $46.7 billion annually, assuming legal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco. 
        • "From Canada we’ve learned that the production cost of (government-sponsored) marijuana is roughly 33¢ a gram. Currently, U.S. marijuana consumers pay at least $10 per gram retail for illegal marijuana. If the cost of retailing and distribution is the same as for legal tobacco cigarettes, about 10¢ a gram, then selling the (legal) product at exactly the same price as on the street today ($10 per gram) could raise $40 billion to $100 billion in new revenue. Not chump change. Government would simply be transferring revenue from organized crime to the public purse."
        • SAMHSA estimates seem to suggest that 10-30% of Washingtonians use marijuana each month.
        • this study: High Tax States: Options for Gleaning Revenue from Legal Cannabis addresses excise taxes and other ways a legalized industry could produce government revenue from
           researchers at Carnegie Mellon, UCLA, and with RAND Corporation 
      On Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 7:40 PM, Linda Lee <elcsmail@...> wrote:

      So is this how we begin the discussion?
       I, personally am concerned about the developing brains in children and young people. Brains are not fully developed until the late teens/early twenties. Many children here in the city already are exposed to drugs, either pre- or post-natally. Is this going to make it even more dangerous -- like second-hand smoke? Will their teachers be smoking pot in the classroom? Teachers do smoke tobacco  on school campuses now. Do we know what the long-term effects of this are going to be on our next generation? I'm talking the twenty to forty-year olds? People who are alcoholics have slowed cognitive responses -- what I call "pickled brain syndrome". When I worked at DOT back in the 70's, such a person worked in my office. He could do very little work. He just basically got in his time til lunch when he could get his drink. Back under the old Civil Service System, no one could be fired. Fortunately this man was almost retirement age.
      I would like to know what the Ward 5/6 Drug Prevention Center (Sasha Bruce) has to say on this. To me, they are the experts on this.
      I feel like we are headed down a slippery slope on this one. Wouldn't we be better off requiring these people to just go to a class on drugs and their effects on the brain? I mean don't charge them, make it more like a traffic offense. Just DO NOT LEGALIZE IT. help people to go in a positive direction and NOT become a criminal.
      Thanks for opening up the discussion.
      LD Lee
      From: "Press, MPD (MPD)" <mpd.press@...>
      To: "mpd-5d@yahoogroups.com" <mpd-5d@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 1:59 PM
      Subject: [MPD-5D] Chief Lanier's comment on Marijuana Decriminalization Bill
      Today, proposed legislation to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana was introduced in Council. This is a significant issue that merits robust discussion on a broad spectrum of issues, including concerns about the risk to children with increased access, the health impact of increasingly potent plants, and conflict with federal laws. In the meantime, it is important for the community to recognize that some of the information being used as an argument for decriminalization is flawed. As I believe our community members know, MPD has not prioritized marijuana arrests. Since day one, my priority has been combatting violent crime, and the District is safer as a result. Marijuana users are simply not being targeted in the manner suggested by a recent report from the ACLU and by many advocates for decriminalization.  To learn more about the flaws in the ACLU report, please read my letter to the editor that was recently published in The Washington Post:
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      a resident of dc and taxed without representation.

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