Souki right to push for legalization of cannabis

Congratulations to Speaker Joe Souki for showing true leadership in proposing cannabis legalization for Hawaii (The Maui News, Jan. 24).

He knows the shameful history of prohibition of this wonder medicine and versatile fabric, food, rope and construction material. Prohibition not only enriches the oil and pharmaceutical companies but also creates a vast underground market for illegal plants and makes the U.S. the biggest imprisoner in the world.

Legalization is the right thing to do morally, and is the right thing to do economically. We save a lot in judicial and criminal enforcement costs and create a sustainable new income tax.

Sen. J. Kalani English and I were posted on the drug policy forum website promoting tax and regulation as a sensible alternative to continuing the war on drugs in 2010. I am grateful to Souki for joining the nationwide effort to bring peace to the failed drug war.

Let freedom ring.

Joe Bertram III