Pubdate: Tue, 13 Nov 2012
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2012 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Richard B. Stofberg


I couldn't agree more with Dan Rodricks' recent column on marijuana 
policy ("The nonsense of marijuana busts shown," Nov. 11). It should 
be apparent to all except those with a vested interest in keeping 
marijuana banned that our entire "war on drugs," and especially the 
nation's marijuana policy, has utterly failed.

It has failed for the same reason the ban on alcohol failed during 
Prohibition - there simply is so much demand for marijuana that no 
amount of tax dollars can stop the supply.

Perhaps we should ask why we allow our government to waste our money 
fighting something whose negative social impact is far less than that 
of alcohol.

Yes, the same tired "experts" continue telling us it is a gateway 
drug, simply because most people who use harder drugs tried pot 
first. More than 100 million Americans have tried marijuana, and the 
vast majority have never moved on to becoming addicted to harder 
drugs. Yet our government classifies marijuana in the very highest 
schedule of controlled substances that have no medical use .

By doing so, the government not only rejects the overwhelming 
evidence showing marijuana's benefits for those who suffer a variety 
of chronic conditions, it has also convinced young people to distrust 
the government more generally with respect to drug policy. Why would 
anyone believe any institution that tells them that marijuana is as 
dangerous as heroin?

Since politicians are always the last to change course due to their 
fear of being labeled "soft on drugs," the public can do something 
right now through the process known as jury nullification: If called 
to serve on a jury, simply refuse to convict anyone charged with 
marijuana possession.

It may not be the best answer, but at least it is a start toward 
regaining our collective sanity.

Richard B. Stofberg, Baltimore
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