Legalized pot is progress, and it works | Alaska Dispatch

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Dear Alaska and Oregon,

I hear you’ve both got marijuana legalization initiatives on your November ballots. You’re thinking about taking the plunge. For those of you still undecided, let me offer some neighborly advice.

Two years ago I was in your shoes. I lived in Washington state. I had two teenage kids. I hadn’t smoked a joint since college. I was leaning toward a no vote on Initiative 502, our marijuana proposition. Pot? Meh. I didn’t like it, didn’t use it, didn’t want my kids to have easier access to it.

A few days before the election, my friend Linda Mangel, a civil rights lawyer, challenged my opinion. “Listen,” she said. “This is not about you.” Nobody cares whether you like pot or hate it, she said. “This is a race issue. It’s a civil rights issue. There are generations of black men in prison because they were caught with a substance that’s less harmful than alcohol. You’re a white guy so you don’t have to worry about it. Others do.”

Read more: Legalized pot is progress, and it works | Alaska Dispatch

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