1580 Jade Street
Davis, CA 95616
April 11, 2013
Director of the Drug Policy Institute
I am writing to express my opinion on the article you wrote on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 titled "Legalize pot? No, reform laws." One of my biggest concerns is that you did not adequately cover the tension between state laws and federal laws. As you served as a senior drug policy adviser in the Obama administration, I expected insight into why the federal government and more specifically the Obama administration are so against the legalization of marijuana. As the article does refer over many valid points on what demises legalizing marijuana could bring, I cannot help but think that there is a clearer, more politically driven reason the Obama administration does not want marijuana legalized. One of the most fundamental principles of this country is our freedom to voice our opinion. Consequently, this then leads to laws and regulations we want being passed and imposed. This fundamental principle is never once mentioned in your article; what do the people want? Instead you avoid the fact that a body of people who voted to legalize marijuana are being completely overridden by the federal government for what I believe are insufficient reasons.
One of the other points you bring up in your article is about the funding of education through the lottery tax system. You foresee how the “failed” lottery tax system is a good predictor for the failure of taxing marijuana. The article deems the lottery tax system as a “failure” because it was unable to provide adequate funds for the education system. My first thought was why were we relying on the tax from lotteries to fund our education? This expectation on the tax system is absurd. Just because the system was not able to provide "sufficient" funds to fulfill educations needs does not mean that the tax system failed. At the end of the day, taxing the lottery system did make money and it was profitable. Similarly, just because taxing the lottery system did not meet an expectation does not mean taxing marijuana will fail to meet its expectation.