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The Marijuana Debate - Two Very Different Views



Time to tag back in on our series about marijuana by bringing you the thoughts of two Door County residents who have very different views on whether the drug should be decriminalized.

[Read Part 1 of the series here]

Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel says he's "strongly opposed" to legalizing marijuana. If it did become legal, Vogel says his department's workload would increase dramatically.

"I think it's a deterioration of society when we continue to allow illegal drugs to become legal," says Vogel. "And I don't agree with the argument that we can tax it and make some money on it -- then you're just working off of greed." 

Kubie Luchterhand of Ellison Bay, a longtime proponent of decriminalizing marijuana, sees things differently.

"If you want to stop the dealing of marijuana, the way to do it is to do it the way it was done with alcohol," says Luchterhand. "And that is to regulate it, tax it and then you could actually impose some standards on it."

Luchterhand says it's costing too much to keep marijuana offenders in prison, and he says because the drug is illegal it's created a vast underground economy, both in the U.S. and in other countries.

But Sheriff Vogel thinks the cost to society is too great to make a change.

A CBS News poll released November 30 showed that 47 percent of respondents support legalization and 47 percent oppose it, the first time supporters have equaled detractors since the news outlet started taking the poll.

Broken down by political affiliation, 51 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Independents support legalization while 66 percent of Republicans are against it. 

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