Gary Mason suggests that legalizing marijuana will produce policy
complexities (Legalize Weed, Yes, But The Demon's In The Details -
Feb. 16). Here are just a few: 1) Marijuana makes people with some
mental illnesses more prone to psychosis. How will we protect
vulnerable people from this harm?; 2) Marijuana smoke is as damaging
to physical health as tobacco smoke; 3) Because raw marijuana has
been accepted as a "medication," anti-smoking regulations must be
strengthened so they can be applied even to those who claim they are
taking medication; 4) Legal marijuana will become a gift worth
billions to Big Tobacco. The industry will devote its vast resources
to obfuscating research on health effects, resisting regulation,
targeting youth and maximizing marijuana's addictive qualities; 5)
Roadside tests must be developed to detect and prosecute drivers
impaired by marijuana.
We need careful preparation before we jump on this bandwagon.