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my little activist

This is much more amusing if you have actually met squeaky-clean Jennifer. She has been woefully unemployed for most of the summer--idle hands and so forth...

Governor Ehrlich,

As a state resident and college student at the University of Maryland, College Park, with an interest in Economics I would like to thank you for your concern for the economic well-being of Maryland and its budget deficit. I understand that it must be a daunting task trying to come to an agreement with the House of Representatives on how to handle and improve our situation. Since you feel it would be unreasonable to hold a referendum on slot machines and allow the people to decide for ourselves, I would like to propose an alternative solution.

While slot machines seem like an appropriate way to increase revenues because our neighbors have them and Marylanders are leaving Maryland to spend millions of dollars across our borders, the idea I propose brings us new income in a new way – it will quickly put our state on tourism maps not only nationally but around the world. I ask that you consider the benefits of legalizing marijuana. It is a billion dollar industry and so far the only people who capitalize on it are criminals. If we allow residents to smoke pot in public we will have far more people visiting Maryland than will be playing slots in Delaware. We would be able to spend less money on jails and punishments for these non-violent criminals currently prosecuted for possession. Cannabis is not as dangerous a health hazard as prescription drugs and alcohol; if we regulate it as we do alcohol, it seems to be a plausible and realistic solution to many problems.

What better way to win the war on drugs than to eradicate the war itself? As a child I was always told that walking away from a fight made me a bigger person than actually fighting it. Right now we are pummeling the low-income residents who smoke pot, but you and I, Mr. Ehrlich, have a chance to help them back to their feet with education rather than punishment. I think that our current war on drugs is comparable to the unsuccessful prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th century. Alcohol was out of control before it was legalized again and I think that marijuana will follow a similar path. Even during the years of Prohibition, alcohol was served at the White House. I don’t mean to imply anything; I am just saying that Maryland has the chance to take a gigantic step in leading this country to economic prosperity.

I hope you read this letter as seriously as I wrote it. We have a chance here to make history. It would be a shame to pass it up.

Thank you for your time,

Jennifer Stavish


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2004 04:10 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid we're going to have to ...
...ask the young Ms. Stavish to return her D.A.R.E. certificate.
Aug. 25th, 2004 05:40 am (UTC)
"Even during the years of Prohibition, alcohol was served at the White House. I don’t mean to imply anything;"

Is she saying that marijuana was served at the White House too? Maybe we could have pay as you go pot zones. Then only people who could afford it would imbibe, er, inhale.
Aug. 25th, 2004 06:17 am (UTC)
Re: Wait...
She left it open to interpretation--I pretty much thought of Kendel ripping Bob a new one for spilling bongwater on the carpet. Again.

Regardless of the vice, it never seems to work out that "only people who could afford it" indulge.
Aug. 25th, 2004 10:02 pm (UTC)
Does she want critiques? If so, I would recommend taking out "I don't mean to imply anything." It's sort of like "I don't mean to be offensive". She is implying something, and she does have a point.

It's a good letter. It's a huge fight. If she is serious about this, she might want to also look at actually statistics to back up her arguments--they do exist and would be fairly easy to incorporate. Even something to back up her statement of alcohol being served in the White House. I am not doubting it's true, just saying it would help if she could back it up.

I am pretty vague on this, but am I right that initially Marijuana was made illegal because the paper industry recognized the commercial benefits of hemp and feared competition?

Good luck to her! Hope you are sending her lots of snacks at school 8-)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )