July 20, 2019 | 83° F

War on drugs does more harm than good

Letter to Editor

Regarding the thoughtful Mar. 28 column, “Opposition to legalization of marijuana unconvincing,” the days when politicians can get away with confusing the drug war’s tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant are coming to an end. 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 hateful culture warriors. Not just in Colorado and Washington, but also throughout the nation, it’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Students who want to help end marijuana prohibition should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at SchoolsNotPrisons.com.

Robert Sharpe is a policy analyst at Common Sense for Drug Policy.

By Robert Sharpe

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