A nation of laws can't ignore laws

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A benevolent dictatorship -- rule by man, not by law -- is said to be the most efficient form of government. America has chosen the opposite -- rule by law, not by man -- in hopes that prevention of harm from a ruthless whim will more than compensate for loss of efficiency.

"Feds won't pursue pot smokers," proclaims a U-B front page headline (Dec. 16). How is this not an example of dictatorship? Go ahead and do something illegal, and the dictator promises -- cross my heart -- to look the other way.

That's the case until one morning the dictator wakes up in a bad mood and won't look the other way, and suddenly we Washington state residents are scofflaws.

The marijuana issue is worthy of national debate. As with tobacco, even nonsmokers can recognize legitimate merits to legalization. The U-B published thought-provoking arguments on both sides during the recent campaign.

So decide, at the national level, and make that the law, and treat every citizen equally by universally enforcing the law. No good can come to the social order in a country claiming to be a nation of laws, by selectively relying on the benevolence of a dictator to overlook the scofflaws.

Jim Thorn

Dayton

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