NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 9, 2013

Looking at how lawmakers should treat marijuana

To the editor:

Instead of editorializing that the “Legislature should put priority on fixing new marijuana law,” I would urge the Legislature to prioritize replacement of the state’s prohibition that never should have been with a law that treats the plant and its products like any other agricultural commodity, punishing only the selling or gifting of marijuana to children.

When I say any other agricultural commodity think herbs like thyme sold by weight, on scales certified accurate by the Sealer of Weights and Measures, and subject to the warranty of merchantability. Of course, the profits of those engaged in the commerce of cannabis would be subject to income taxation and the activities of that commerce take place in a manner in accordance with other generally applicable law.

It is fiscally irresponsible, unwise and unreasonable for Massachusetts and her municipalities to expend resources on attempting to enforce a prohibition that merely provides a price support to those willing to risk supplying the demand. It is also wrong to suppress the cultivation of a plant that was, until crony capitalists hijacked our legislatures to eliminate the competition, valued for its nutritious seeds, strong fiber, medicinal and entheogenic (“generating the divine within”) qualities from before the dawn of agriculture. A plant scientists discovered in the first third of the 20th century could be a green resource in the place of fossil carbons and trees.

Undoubtedly, prohibitionist will rant about the supposed dangers of complying with the Constitution, but their “reefer madness” is a delusion. They may be well intentioned but they reject the self-evident truth at the heart of our constitutions that we are all created equal and endowed with the right to live our lives as we choose, so long as our choices are not the cause of injury to others.

Steven S. Epstein

Georgetown

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