One toke over the line

By AL DIAMON  |  November 28, 2012

Of course, that was back when Republicans ran both chambers. Now that the Dems are about to return to power, legalization should have an easier time, right?

Wrong, THC breath.

Keep in mind that it was so-called progressives who pushed through Prohibition.

While libertarian conservatives have been leaders in calling for ending restrictions on personal use of pot, many liberals have proved to be too timid, too close-minded, or too reluctant to give up another one of their precious government regulations. "What about the health consequences of inhaling?" they cry "What about secondhand pot smoke affecting children? What about stoners getting behind the wheel? What about the possibility it will exhaust the state's supply of munchies?"

To which our teenage pal Chiccoboom replied, "Hee, hee, hee, hoo, hoo, ha."

The naysayers don't seem to realize that all those problems exist now. They wouldn't become more pronounced because the product that could cause them is no longer against the law. In fact, they'd be easier to deal with, since users of the drug would no longer have to fear arrest.

What legalization would lead to, though, is something that's near and dear to every liberal's heart: increased tax revenue.

Once weed was no longer exclusively available on the black market, its sales could be taxed. Producers, wholesalers, and retailers could also be charged hefty licensing fees. And think of all the land that would be kept in profitable agricultural production, instead of being sold off for strip malls and big-box stores.

I can think of only a single negative consequence of Maine making marijuana legal. As soon as we did so, our neighbors in New Hampshire would almost certainly follow suit. And, as with liquor, pot would probably be a lot cheaper over there.

The smoker you drink, the more you'll want to email your comments to me at

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  Topics: Talking Politics , Portland Press Herald, Robert Schwartz, conservatives,  More more >
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