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American Opinion - On the need to legalize and regulate marijuana:

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

From The Associated Press

On the need to legalize and regulate marijuana:

While a proposal to track medical marijuana sales is far from being the unreasonable intrusion critics are making it out to be, the notion certainly points out how arcane the country's anti-marijuana laws are.

A recent Associated Press story spelled out how state officials hope to monitor who's buying medical marijuana and just how much. Some officials say they believe that some patients are buying up large quantities of pot and then selling it on the black market.

At this point, there's really no way of knowing that. With the prolific number of medical marijuana dispensaries, it would be difficult to track such sales even with a control system.

Such regulated sales aren't the beginning of some new era of Big Brother snooping. Registry of guns and other controlled substances and devices are long standing.

Medical patients currently can't drag a single prescription for Vicodin from pharmacy to pharmacy, collecting huge quantities of the narcotic for personal use or to sell on the black market. There should be no expectation from medical marijuana users that their medicine should be treated any differently.

But since there is no agreed upon way of how to prescribe marijuana, it's difficult to find an easy way to control and limit its sale to individual patients. ...

No one is asking for the U.S. to stand back and allow for a free-for-all in drug trade, but, clearly, current U.S. drug policy is beyond dysfunctional; it's a major part of the problem.

Regulate these medicinal sales now, and then follow California's lead toward decriminalization after that.

-- Aurora (Colo.) Sentinel