The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Roger A Roffman DSW
Professor Emeritus University of Washington 

I-502 needs to be passed

Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:

In a recent letter to the editor in The Sentinel, Joy Collins notes that marijuana is not harmless.

I couldn’t agree more and would like to take this opportunity to explain why I agreed to sponsor the marijuana legalization initiative and why I urge concerned parents to vote “yes” next November.

Today marijuana is illegal, yet many millions of Americans are choosing to use it. In Joy’s home town of Lyle and throughout our country, most young people know how to acquire it.

Despite the billions we’ve spent on enforcing the marijuana laws, we’ve not been nearly successful enough in preventing either its use or some people from suffering harms. The billions of dollars in profit from this underground Market are directly fueling horrific violence committed by drug cartels. Not a dime from those profits is going to protecting our health and safety.

I-502 offers an alternative, one that I believe will be more effective in serving young people and their families in our state. It shifts our policy to a public health approach in which a state agency, the Washington State Liquor Control Board, will tightly regulate the growing, selling, and advertising of marijuana.

I support the initiative because of what we are not able to do now. For example, I want people to be educated about marijuana and its risks. That’s not happening nearly enough today. I want to see us actually use prevention approaches that we know work and provide treatment resources to people who need them. Both are rarely available. With the tax revenues from this new law, these deficits will be remedied.

We can do so much better and our families and communities deserve it.


Reader Comments

SteveSarich writes:

Oh Roger....PLEASE tell the truth! You hate marijuana and your whole career has revolved around perpetuating the Reefer Madness model. That's how you've gotten all your public funding. You still think marijuana is a dangerous, addicting, drug. But you signed on to this New Approach to Prohibition because you believe that you'll receive millions in funding for your personal pet projects at the UW. I really look forward to debating you. Steve Sarich No On I-502 Committee


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