Vote ‘yes’ to legalize marijuana

I haven’t smoked marijuana in a long time. When someone passes me a pipe, I decline and say, I’ve already smoked my share. Even so, I support the legalization of pot.
I do enjoy a craft beer, a glass of wine, an occasional brandy, or my summertime gin and tonic. It’s a good thing, most will agree, that I don’t have to worry about being arrested for social drinking unless I endanger others by drinking too much and driving.  
I’m a firm believer in “free will choice.” Individuals are free to do what they please if they don’t harm anyone else. We need laws to protect against harm to others. I don’t claim any drug use is a wise choice, just one that should not be enforced by government but rather by family ethics and community education.
We, the people, are paying the cost of the “drug war,” and it’s a steep cost. Not only does the United States have more people in prison than any other, most for non-violent drug offenses, but our prohibition drives up the money available in drugs so that entire countries who supply our U.S. markets are ravaged by gangs and terrorists.
To bring this discussion back to Alaska and our upcoming election to decide if we should legalize marijuana use: Alaska already allows individuals to grow their own. It’s a small step to allow those who don’t grow to buy from those who do grow. Let’s be real: Alaskans already do It’s not difficult to buy pot in this town or anywhere else in Alaska. Most pot consumed in this state is grown here. I see no reason for the federal government to regulate the use of a product that doesn’t cross state lines.
My main reason to allow cannabis to grow in Alaska is that we could have a very successful commercial product in hemp. Hemp is the mild form of cannabis grown for fiber for paper, cloth and building materials, and seed for oil that can be used for food and fuel.
Do we want to protect our peaceable friends and neighbors from arrest and jail? Do we want a potential agricultural bonanza to be made possible? Use your good sense and vote yes to legalize marijuana on Proposition 2.  Yes on 2.
Bumppo Bremicker