Pubdate: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 Source: Record, The (Stockton, CA) Copyright: 2013 The Record Website: http://www.recordnet.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/428 Author: Robert Sharpe Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n597/a04.html MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION MAKES SENSE Regarding Michael Fitzgerald's Dec. 15 column, not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in need, but adult recreational use should be regulated. The days when our federal government can get away with confusing the drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant are coming to an end. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a grand 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 catastrophic 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. Robert Sharpe Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.