Alcohol Industry Benefits From Marijuana Remaining Illegal

I have spent my life in and around alcoholism. A recovering alcoholic myself, I worked at Promises in Malibu before founding Loft 107, the first sober living facility in New York City. I’m the cofounder of TheFix.com, a web site about addiction and treatment.

I’m also an interventionist, the guy who gets called in when a family is at their wit’s end. While I deal with clients in recovery every day at Loft 107, my work takes me everywhere, from schools to court and even into prisons. It was in the last of these where I found myself last week.

The scene: visiting day at Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, NY. As I sat with a client, I watched a family playing Uno. Everyone was there — two boys, aged 8 and 10, their mother, and their grandparents. As visiting hours wound down, the boys had tears streaming down their faces at once again having to leave their father, who is in prison serving a marijuana distribution charge.

Were marijuana legal, this man might have been called an entrepreneur instead of a criminal. But it’s not, and he’s not. Is it his fault that he is where he is? Of course it is. But all the devils are here, including the alcohol lobby. Money from big booze is protecting a monopoly, and society is paying the price. The solution: It’s time to legalize weed. Why? Because not only could legalized marijuana provide a tax revenue stream for funding treatment and recovery programs, it could also eliminate the high cost of incarceration and the emotional toll it takes on families.

– Read the entire article in The Huffington Post.

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