Today’s news:

Gov’t should legalize marijuana

Fast forward from “Cops seize 3K whiskey cases during Prohibition in 1925” (TimesLedger Newspapers, June 23-29) to today. The city Police Department making possession of marijuana No. 1 for arrests of over 50,000 people in 2010 was a similar failure.

The crusade against marijuana, along with tobacco, pornography, adult entertainment and unhealthy food, still continues by both government and those who believe they know what is good for you, which is a waste of taxpayer money.

Consumption of marijuana for both medical and recreational use has been part of mainstream America, transcending generations. Despite the best efforts of both government and the Moral Majority social police to outlaw marijuana consumption — just like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s — both have been failures.

Creative entrepreneurs will always provide the citizens’ desire, regardless of government approval. Consumers have voted with their dollars, making marijuana consumption a multibillion-dollar enterprise today. Legalize it and add a sales tax. Revenues will more than cover the costs of any abuse. Our tax dollars would be better used if police and judges spend more time prosecuting those who commit real crimes against individuals or property than going after those who consume or distribute marijuana.

Citizens have more to fear from murder, arson, rape, muggings, robberies, auto and identity theft or home break-ins along with ever-increasing levels of confiscatory taxation and debt by government than individuals who get high in the privacy of their own homes. Law enforcement authorities should be free to pursue those who commit real crimes against citizens and property.

At 18, you are old enough to vote, be a parent, pay taxes, own a car, take out a bank loan, serve in the military and die for your country — but not being able to consume marijuana in the city makes no sense. What consenting adults consume, inhale, perform, read or view in the privacy of their own homes or private social clubs is not the concern of government.

Individual economic and civil liberties prosper best when government stays out of both the bedroom and marketplace. Let us hope that we have finally learned from the obvious failures of Prohibition. It is time to permit consenting adults to access any so-called illegal products or substances, such as pot, without fear from government harassment.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, L.I.

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