Pubdate: Sat, 27 Sep 2014
Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)
Copyright: 2014 Star Advertiser
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: A10


Kevin Sabet just doesn't get it ("If you think Big Tobacco was bad, 
wait until you see Big Marijuana," StarAdvertiser, Insight, Sept. 24).

Big Marijuana already exists in the form of Mexican drug cartels. 
These are ruthless people who cut off heads to resolve business 
disputes, sell drugs to anyone regardless of age, and have a vested 
financial interest in providing cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin 
to consumers.

Like it or not, marijuana is here to stay. We can collect taxes on 
legal marijuana or we can subsidize drug cartels. Punitive laws have 
little, if any, deterrent value. Despite the dire predictions of drug 
warriors, the sky is not falling in Colorado.

There is no societal benefit to having consumers purchase untaxed, 
unregulated and potentially unsafe marijuana from criminals. It's 
time to put public health before culture-war politics. We can close 
the gateway to hard drugs by taxing and regulating legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
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