Wake-Up Call: Mason Tvert on the money

If the Colorado Legislature can tie a debate on the death penalty to the dismal economy, no reason California can't do the same for a discussion of legalizing marijuana. "Well, I think it's not time for (legalization), but I think it's time for a debate," Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday. "I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?"

That debate continued on Fox News this morning, with Coloradan Mason Tvert, founder of SAFER, arguing not just for an open discussion but outright legalization, using the comparisons to alcohol that form the basis for many of his arguments.

Like abolishing the death penalty, legalizing marijuana is a proposal that deserves a full airing -- but economic ramifications are just a part of that discussion, rather than the impetus. Before Schwarzenegger links such a discussion to his busted budget, pot proponents might want to consider what happened to HB 1274 in Colorado, where tying a death-penalty debate to the budget wound up killing the proposal. They could find their own dope discussion going up in smoke.

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