Pubdate: Thu, 01 May 2014
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2014 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor,

Regarding Mark Wignall's thoughtful April 27 column, 'Will we miss 
out on the ganja money?', the clock is ticking, Jamaica, don't miss 
the ganja boat.

United States President Barack Obama is allowing marijuana 
legalisation to move forward. The next president may not be so 
enlightened. Jamaica would be wise to legalise ganja now before the 
US starts using its superpower status to bully other nations once again.

It's not just about opportunistic timing, it's the right thing to do.

Marijuana prohibition is indefensible. If the goal of marijuana 
prohibition is to subsidise 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 doubled the rate of marijuana use as 
against the Netherlands where marijuana is legal. The criminalisation 
of citizens 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.

In Jamaica and all around the world, it's time to stop the pointless 
arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe, MPA
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