Pubdate: Thu, 02 Jan 2020
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Jeffrey A. Singer, M.D.
Note: Headline by Newshawk


It is difficult to keep track of the fallacies and straw men in your
reefer madness rant. Start with the obvious: The federal ban on
cannabis makes it impossible for legal, federally regulated
e-cigarette makers to develop and market safe THC cartridges for
vaping. Consequently, most THC cartridges are dangerous bootleg
products sold on the black market. Federal legalization would lead to
improved product safety for which manufacturers would be held

The reason unlicensed dispensaries are flourishing in California
relates to the state's exorbitant taxes and burdensome regulations.
This isn't the case in Colorado and Washington, where an oversupply of
legal cannabis outlets has driven prices down so much that state-based
growers turn to California's black market in search of profits.

Further, your editorial implies marijuana is a "gateway" drug, even
though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against
that conclusion. It may be true that "95% of heroin and cocaine users
report first using pot," but if marijuana wasn't so largely obtained
via the black market, consumers would be less likely to interact with
dealers who introduce them to other substances.

The rash of vaping deaths and illnesses serves to illustrate the
consequences of prohibition. Federal marijuana legalization is
required urgently to prevent the rash from spreading.

Jeffrey A. Singer, M.D.

Cato Institute

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