Pubdate: Sat, 22 Nov 2014
Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Copyright: 2014 Orlando Sentinel
Note: Rarely prints out-of-state LTEs.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Bill Lane's Sunday My Word, "Why treat pot differently than 
alcohol?": Marijuana prohibition is indefensible.

As evidenced by the narrow defeat of medical marijuana in this past 
Florida election, 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 lifetime rate of 
marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana has been legally 
available for decades.

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. 
It's time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe

policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
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