Profiting From Prohibition

RECEIVED Sat., Dec. 12, 2009

Dear Editor,
    Re: "Majority Favors Marijuana" [Newsdesk blog, Dec. 11]: Far too many people profit from marijuana prohibition, and the price in terms of human lives is astronomical. We are supporting genocide when we support the policies of prohibition. Yet the profits are too great, and there are too many people happy with things just as they are. Who are they? Who likes the drug wars? Who profits? Cops like prohibition because they get money and power to harass the young, the poor, people of color, and people with nonregulation haircuts. Gangsters like prohibition because it makes them rich, and wealth makes them powerful. Politicians like prohibition because it gives them someone to blame and stigmatize for the community's woes. Addiction "experts" like prohibition because it assures that they will have a long line of "patients" looking for – or more often, being forced into – "treatment." Lawyers love prohibition because there is always a long list of people to defend at premium prices. Jailers love prohibition because it assures their continued existence. And since marijuana has dozens of proven medical applications – including fighting cancer – Big Pharma likes prohibition because it keeps their competition from flourishing. These people have far more influence over our government than the citizens of the country ever had, which is why I am sure that our government will never legalize marijuana voluntarily. Legal pot and drugs, the abolition of prohibition, will come the same way as same-sex marriage, legal abortion, women's liberation, desegregation, civil rights, and medical marijuana rights: through the courts and influenced by the press.
Scott Goodman
Boynton Beach, Fla.
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