Pubdate: Sun, 30 Oct 2016
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2016 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Robert Sharpe


Letter to the editor:

Regarding USA TODAY's editorial "Marijuana on the ballot," no further 
studies are needed. The results are in. If the goal of marijuana 
prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a failure. Few Americans had 
heard of marijuana, much less smoked it, until Congress made it illegal 
in 1937. Racial profiling was the clear intent of Reefer-madness-era 
legislation. The ugly legacy of racially disproportionate enforcement 
continues. This, despite mainstream use of marijuana, generated by the 
forbidden-fruit appeal. If the goal is to subsidize violent drug 
cartels, marijuana prohibition is a success.

Illegal marijuana is cultivated in environmentally destructive 
wilderness grows and suburban basements, under artificial lights with 
massive carbon footprints. The sooner the marijuana plant is treated as 
a legal agricultural commodity, the better. The criminalization of 
Americans who prefer marijuana over 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, Common Sense for Drug Policy; Arlington, Va.
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