The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Remember the lessons of prohibition


To The Eagle:

]I never thought this would happen but I find myself totally agreeing with Howard Brawn, specifically his recent letter regarding the proposed pot-growing moratorium.

I do have a couple of thoughts of my own. Twenty-odd years ago I found it necessary for a variety of reasons to part ways with alcohol and pot. This was accomplished with a little help from my friends (and You-Know-Who) and I have yet to regret this choice. But the point I’m trying to make is that I never saw fit to insist that it was time for everyone else to quit as well.

In fact I thought that our country’s experience during prohibition demonstrated pretty powerfully what a bad idea it is to try to outlaw substances that a whole lot of folks enjoy on a regular basis, even if some of them might be better off doing without.

What did we learn back then? Well for starters, alcoholism rates actually went up during prohibition. Organized crime enjoyed a Golden Age of wealth and influence. Plus a lot of people came to hold the law in contempt for its foolishness, meanness and hypocrisy.

The same thing has happened with marijuana prohibition, and as a result the voters of our state have elected to try another way. Think about it. Would it be better for folks to get pot raised in licensed facilities and sold at state-run stores, or grown in the woods where you might get your head blown off if you stumble across it, or smuggled into the US by armed syndicates, then sold by someone who might be selling meth as well? We could even have warnings about the dangers of other drugs on the pot packaging if we chose.

I’m not the least worried that any of this will bring crime to our area. In fact I expect the opposite to happen, and that we will be able to add the money we save on this useless anti-pot war to the taxes and revenues our community will see in the future if we just abide by the laws of our state.

Richard Beck, Puget Island


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