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Letter: Marijuana prohibition has been a dangerous failure

Re “Legalize pot? There’s no need to rush” (Sunday Monitor editorial, Jan. 26):

There is no reason to continue throwing good money after bad drug policy. 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 rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands where marijuana is legal.

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. This country can no longer afford to subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors. Not just in Colorado and Washington state but throughout the nation, it’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

ROBERT SHARPE

Washington, D.C.

(The writer is a policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy.)

Legacy Comments2

And meanwhile the underground trade continues to flourish. Realistically we have two choices; 1) Legalize and regulate, this would allow for enforceable quality standards, production controls, accessibility limits, and tax revenue. - OR- 2) Allow the continued black market control of cannabis by international cartels and other criminals who have zero concern over pesticide use, fertilizer runoff into water supplies, the destruction of our public lands, the deaths of tens of thousands that have gotten in their way, and the corruption of Law Enforcement on both sides of the border all the while funneling their untaxed profits into the underground economy. People that want to use cannabis will continue to use cannabis regardless of any law, if we can get it legally great, if not we'll simply continue to buy it off the street. The choice is yours.

Well, you can't fix stupid. I say let them buy it off of the streets and take the risks of prosecution. What will happen is that the black market will produce a stronger version with stronger THC content and will undercut the public price. Basically, we have a group in our society trying to escape the realism of the world through getting high.

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