Robert Sharpe: Pot prohibition fails
February 19, 2013
In response to Rob Douglas' Feb. 15 column "Reefer madness":
The people of Colorado and Washington state are way ahead of the politicians in Washington, D.C. 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 of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a catastrophic failure. The United States has double the rate of use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available.
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 no longer can afford to subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors. Not just in Colorado but throughout the nation, it's time to stop the arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.
Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy