Bravo, Judge Nichols for his cogent summary of the present situation, financial intricacies and legal facts about marijuana. If I may put in my 2 cents worth: I agree that marijuana is a public health problem, though probably less of one than alcohol. Criminal behavior after alcohol use is rampant.
Over the past 40 years or so, wearing the hats of soldier, family physician, Whatcom county jail physician, Army physician, E.R. doc, and a few others, I have yet to see someone smoke a joint, and then volunteer to take on the whole bar, commit rape or kill someone in a road rage. I have seen all of those things done with alcohol as the fuel. I have seen them get shot, stabbed, run over and beaten to death when they became involved with illegal drug suppliers, who would much rather see people using more expensive, more addicting drugs.
As a physician, I do not condone the use of marijuana nor do I recommend it as medical treatment for anything; but worthy of criminal prosecution? Ridiculous!
Let's start spending our tax dollars somewhere where they will actually have an effect and while we're at it let's increase the amount of tax revenue by tapping into this economic resource and put the criminals out of business. It's not perfect but it's a start. Please vote yes on 502.