Pubdate: Sun, 06 Apr 2014
Source: Jacksonville Journal-Courier (IL)
Copyright: 2014 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


To the editor:

Regarding your April 3 editorial, the drug war is largely a war on
marijuana consumers. The days when politicians 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 almost 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 and
Washington state but throughout the nation, it's time to stop the
pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe

Arlington, Va.
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