Sunday, October 21, 2007

Legalize It, But ...

When it comes to marijuana, I'm a straight-up "legalize it, regulate it, tax it" American. But I understand that has to be done deliberately and carefully. And I'm alert to the innocence of hemp and those who wish to grow it for fabrics.

But I also understand that legalizing commercial-grade hemp is effectively legalizing pot. There's no simple way to tell the kind of hemp you make a tote bag from from the kind of hemp you fire up and listen to Morcheeba with the headphones on. Unless you want to sift through a 500-acre field of plants one by one.

It would make the business of enforcing the law impossibly expensive and difficult. It would be a back-door to legalization. And while I'm in favor of legalization, I prefer it to be done through the front door.