Pubdate: Sun, 09 Jan 2011
Source: Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, NJ)
Copyright: 2011 Ian Wachstein
Author: Ian Wachstein


I have argued for years that the criminalization of marijuana is
perhaps the most unproductive way to deal with any negative effects
that the use of marijuana might have on its users. Whether or not one
believes marijuana is a dangerous product to be used by people,
criminalization has proved itself to be the most costly and the least
effective solution to the problem.

Now suddenly we have Pat Robertson, a well-known and well-respected
spiritual leader acknowledging this truth. He does not support the use
of marijuana, but he has said he believes "criminalizing marijuana,
criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot and that kind of
thing, I mean, it's just costing us a fortune and it's ruining young

It is time for us to take in the lesson learned from our nation's
former attempts to criminalize the use of alcohol. That never worked
and neither has the criminalization of marijuana. What we need to do
is legalize marijuana and then regulate it.

The cost of dealing with any physical harm that might come from said
use will be far lower than what we experience now and far more
effective once users of marijuana understand that seeking cures for
their use will not result in their being charged with crimes.


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