Legalization of cannabis better than decriminalization

I read with interest a Feb. 16 article declaring legislation legalizing cannabis dead but leaving room for decriminalization.

I find it curious that the Legislature would want to create a windfall of profits to illegal drug cartels who will suddenly have a greater demand for their product than ever. Legalization, however, would allow the state government to regulate and tax a legitimate business instead of propping up an illegal one.

I understand law enforcement’s stand against legalization; it receives millions of dollars in drug war money. But the claims of prosecutors and others that legalization runs counter to federal law doesn’t hold water. The Obama administration has bent over backward to accommodate Colorado’s new cannabis laws, even allowing banks to do business with Colorado’s cannabis industry.

Legalization will be a moot point, like gay marriage, in a few years anyway. It’s just too bad Hawaii has to be behind the curve again.

Joe D’Alessandro