I’m surprised at the editorial position of The Portland Press Herald on marijuana legislation (“Debate on marijuana belongs in federal arena,” April 21). The fact of a present disconnect between state and federal laws involving marijuana isn’t a basis for dismissing the importance of L.D. 1453. To the contrary, the fact that states across America have enacted various statutes authorizing the regulated use of marijuana is strong evidence that the national perspective is changing.

Passing L.D. 1453 would not subject Mainers to greater risk under federal enforcement efforts. But it would eliminate a wasteful burden that state authorities (including police, courts, corrections) presently bear at the expense of Maine taxpayers.

Federal authorities are in a serious quandary concerning the enforcement guidelines they presently employ and those they will need to employ in the future. This is an event horizon. The 13 states (including Maine) that have already begun to revise their state legislation concerning marijuana will be joined by many others. The more involvement by state legislatures in pronouncing the futility, wastefulness and personal harm that marijuana prohibition promotes, the better the chances are that meaningful federal change will occur. That alone, in my view, is a very good reason to support the present bill.

The final foible in the Press Herald’s analysis is the observation that if this bill is passed, Maine authorities will be abetting criminal activity, while in the same paragraph acknowledging that we already do so by regulating medical marijuana. To then follow with the Neanderthalic query “What costs would result from even more drug abuse …” reveals an underlying and profound misunderstanding of both the political environment we are in and the facts concerning marijuana use itself.

I am usually understanding, if not enthusiastic, about most Press Herald editorials, but this isn’t one of them.