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New DEA report says marijuana legalization promotes drug use

The Drug Enforcement Administration eradicated over 10.3 million marijuana plants in fiscal year 2009 and 10.3 million in fiscal year 2010, according to a new report. (AP file photo)

The more available marijuana is in Washington, the more users and abusers we’ll have.

That’s what the nation’s top drug enforcement agency says, as our state figures out how to implement the voter-approved initiative legalizing marijuana.

In a 100-page financial audit,the Drug Enforcement Administration says, “Keeping marijuana illegal reduces its availability and lessens willingness to use it.”

Conversely, “Legalizing marijuana would increase accessibility and encourage promotion and acceptance of drug use.”

The statement appears in a section about challenges that might prevent the DEA from meeting its 2013 goals.

The DEA eradicated over 10.3 million marijuana plants in fiscal year 2009 and 10.3 million in fiscal year 2010, according to DEA data.

This report comes one day after Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, D.C. Federal law banning marijuana conflicts with Washington’s new Initiative 502, which makes possession of an ounce of pot legal for those 21 and older.

While President Obama has said the federal government has “bigger fish to fry” than to go after marijuana users in Washington state, Holder has not said whether he intends to look the other way with our law or enforce the existing national policy which considers marijuana to be an illegal drug.

By LINDA THOMAS

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