Daily Camera editorial argues for legalizing weed

The Boulder Police Department is stepping up DUI patrols and the University of Colorado at Boulder is adding new officers as college students invade the city for the fall semester. But in an opinion piece today, a member of the Boulder Daily Camera's editorial board comes down in favor of less enforcement, not more -- at least when it comes to one specific substance.

"Pot of Confusion: Officials Need to Get a Grip on Medical Pot Law," penned by editorial page editor Erika Stutzman, spends most of its words grappling with the state's baffling approach to medical marijuana, which has led numerous communities throughout the state to put ninety-day moratoriums on the opening of new clinics. Toward the bottom of her essay, though, she makes the following suggestion:

Legalizing marijuana for all, regulating it like alcohol and taxing it like tobacco may be what's best, here: A death knell to the organized crime, black market and goofball medical marijuana bank robbers. Like tobacco taxes, strategic increases in taxation could be used for health care.

It certainly would be the fastest route to clearing up the muddled confusion between medical marijuana laws and the criminal system.

Such a straightforward statement by a higher-up at a sizable daily newspaper would have been difficult to imagine just a few short years ago. True, we're talking about Boulder here -- but despite the liberalism of the town in general, the Daily Camera has generally strode down the middle of the road. That Stutzman would feel comfortable sharing this view may mean broader public opinion on the issue is finally beginning to shift away from just-say-no sloganeering to more nuanced policies.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts