Pubdate: Tue, 20 May 2014
Source: Columbian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2014 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


As a policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy, I agree with
Gordon Oliver's May 11 column, "Marijuana debate far from over."
The people of Washington state are way ahead of the politicians in
Washington, D.C. The days when Congress can get away with confusing
the drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively
harmless plant are over.

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 Washington and Colorado but throughout the nation, it's
time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe

Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D