Pubdate: Thu, 20 Dec 2012
Source: Tribune Star (Terre Haute, IN)
Copyright: 2012 Tribune-Star Publishing Co. Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


This is response you the Tribune-Star editorial of Dec. 17, "Don't let
pot smoke obscure bigger issue."

Indiana legislators need to consider that penalties for minor
marijuana offenses do little other than burden otherwise law-abiding
citizens with criminal records. The voters of Colorado and Washington
state have made it clear that legislators can no longer get away with
confusing the drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a plant.

If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug
cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply and
demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees. If the goal
is to deter use, marijuana prohibition is a failure.

The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the
Netherlands, where marijuana is legal. The criminalization of
Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science.
The war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not
an evidence-based public health campaign. It's time to stop the
arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

- -- Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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