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Marijuana Should Be Legalized  

Marijuana Should Be Legalized Monday, January 25, 2010 - It is disappointing, though telling, to learn that the proposal by Virginia Del. Harvey B. Morgan (R-Gloucester) to amend the state's antiquated and overly punitive marijuana laws has been received "largely with amusement by his Republican colleagues" [Metro, Jan. 21].

In 2007, 18,000 people were prosecuted in Virginia for possessing one ounce or less of marijuana. Passage of Mr. Morgan's measure would spare these thousands of minor marijuana offenders from criminal arrest and incarceration, as well as the emotional and financial hardships that follow -- including the loss of certain jobs and student loans. The measure would also allow the law enforcement and court systems to reallocate resources toward activities that will more effectively target serious criminal behavior and keep the public safe.

This common-sense, fiscally responsible proposal will cut costs and improve many people's quality of life. It is not a laughing matter. EDs Note ... HB 1134 will be heard before the House Committee for Courts of Justice at 1pm on Wednesday. Members of NORMLís national staff and state affiliate will be in attendance to testify. Click > here < for the story, related links and to view and enter comments.

Author: Paul Armentano, Washington DC. The writer is the deputy director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

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