Pubdate: Sun, 08 Sep 2013
Source: Aspen Times, The  (CO)
Copyright: 2013 Aspen Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor:

Regarding Rick Carroll's column ("Why all of the pot paranoia?" Sept. 
3, The Aspen Times), The Obama administration is to be commended for 
giving Colorado the green light to tax and regulate marijuana.

There is absolutely no justification for the status quo. 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. Not just in Colorado but 
throughout the nation, it's time to stop the pointless arrests and 
instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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