To the Editor,

Texas (and the USA) is spending billions incarcerating millions including non-violent kids caught possessing marijuana. I heard Dallas County Commissioner Price a couple days ago explaining how much jailing people costs taxpayers.

Therefore I am proposing that it is time we do in Texas what Colorado just did — making possession of marijuana (only) legal, that we tax it and use the money to fund education which our legislature has allowed to become drastically underfunded.

No one has died from smoking marijuana, unlike cigarettes and alcohol — or even prescription drugs which kill over 100,000 people annually.

This would also allow medical marijuana use to treat pain for those with cancer, MS, AIDS, or going blind from glaucoma, etc.

The present law making marijuana illegal is a holdover from the “Jim Crow” laws of the ‘30s meant to punish blacks who commonly used it at that time. Now, as a Washington Post article recently pointed out, it is putting minority kids in jail and ruining their careers while white kids walk free.

It’s not fair or equal — or American to treat people differently for the same offense. Our failed “War on Drugs” is costing taxpayers billions in unnecessary prison costs for non-violence offenses. Isn’t “freedom” about letting adults be free to even drink or smoke if they wish?

Using the tax money to fund education would be a triple win — cutting jail costs, increasing revenues from a new “sin tax” and adding funding for the advanced education needed by our kids to compete in this inescapable, high tech, space age global economy.

Add this issue to my list — including increasing the minimum wage and passing immigration reform.

One last thing. Legalization/decriminalization of marijuana would also cut drug cartel income up to 50 percent, income on which they pay ZERO taxes and use it to buy heavy weapons to murder people. It is a quadruple win to change our law.

When prohibition ended, so did Al Capone’s racketeering...

Michael Fjetland

Democratic candidate for

U.S. Senate