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Ex-police officer calls for legalizing marijuana

Discussion in 'Latest News' started by Monterey Girl, Apr 23, 2012.

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    Monterey Girl Administrator

    Athens News | 4.23.2012 |
    Stephanie Stark

    Retired Cincinnati Police Capt. Howard Rahtz on Thursday presented his theory and proposed solutions for the War on Drugs – one of which is legalizing marijuana – during a visit to Ohio University.

    Speaking on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Rahtz suggested to an audience in Bentley Hall that the legalization of marijuana is the solution to ending drug-related violence, and shared three facts to support his conclusion.

    Approximately 50 students showed up for the speech which was hosted by Students For Liberty, a campus organization that "promotes individual liberty and fostering discussion on the role of government in society."

    First, he said, because marijuana sales comprise of 60 percent of drug trafficking, the legalization of marijuana would take away the majority of traffickers' revenue. He compared the situation to that of alcohol prohibition and the Volstead Act of 1920, which he said eliminated a legal industry and turned it into a criminal activity for murderers and thugs.

    "And I'm proposing that by legalizing marijuana, we can do the opposite. (Criminals) are the folks that are now profiting from marijuana sales," he said. "We can put marijuana into a legal, controlled, regulatory context, just as alcohol and tobacco, and now we've taken the money that fuels the illegal drug market and fuels the violence that is afflicting our citizens."

    Second, he cited the "90 Percent Rule," that 90 percent of the income that comes from drug trafficking is at the retail level, rather than the international raw material supply. For this reason, he said, if marijuana is legalized, there will be no incentive for international drug lords to incite violence.

    Third, Rahtz said, if marijuana is taken out of the conversation about illegal drugs, police forces can then focus on addicts of harder drugs such as heroin, methamphetamine, crack and cocaine.

    "It's addicts who are out there 24/7 ripping off people and committing crime to support their drug habits," he said.

    By legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing harder drugs, addicts will be encouraged to get treatment, Rahtz said.

    "By taking (addicts) out of the illegal drug market, what happens to the illegal drug market? It begins to wither away. We're choking off their source of support," he said.

    Rahtz said laws allowing medicinal marijuana seem to be the "Trojan Horse of legalization," and that legalizing usage for recreation is necessary to stop the War on Drugs.

    "Forty percent of American adults have smoked marijuana. It's not a secret club that's around somewhere," he said.
    Rahtz' suggestion prompted a few questions about the hypocrisy of international trade laws and about the dangers of decriminalizing hard drugs, and no real objections.

    Students For Liberty President Chase Withorn, a sophomore, said they asked Rahtz to speak last year and had about the same turnout.

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