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Excellent piece on cannabis but…..

April 1, 2019

Ryan Randazzo’s piece in Sunday’s Arizona Republic (March 31-“ASU grad shakes up cannabis industry”) was well done but has a couple of significant omissions. Near the end of the article Randazzo quotes drug warrior and Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, as saying that, “If we were to get rid of drugs, we could almost get rid of crime.” This is nonsense. First, drugs have always been with us and always will be. Second, it is not the drugs that cause crime but rather the drug war which Polk steadfastly supports. Most drugs are cheap substances and, except for making them illegal, would not require criminal drug cartels to produce and distribute. While drug use will not go away, most crime would go away if drugs were decriminalized.

Drug warriors also support draconian measures on the distribution of legal opioids. This simply drives users to the black market and causes deaths from overdoses and impure drugs. The drug warriors like Polk are indirectly causing the deaths of many innocent people.

But that is not all the harm they cause. Polk was the most vocal opponent of the recent attempt to decriminalize marijuana. I believe that the biggest donor on this campaign was himself a producer of fentanyl, the most harmful of all the drugs in use today. The suspicion by some of us for why he supported the anti-marijuana campaign was that he did not want the competition from marijuana. This kind of hypocrisy by these drug warriors should have been noted in the article so that readers get a clear picture of where the problems are in dealing with drug use.

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