Pubdate: Fri, 29 Nov 2013
Source: Standard-Times (New Bedford, MA)
Copyright: 2013 South Coast Media Group
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell's Nov. 23 column ("Guest 
View: The right balance on medical marijuana"), not only should 
medical marijuana be made available to patients in need, but adult 
recreational use should be legally regulated. 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 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 can no longer 
afford to subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors. It's time to 
stop the arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe, MPA Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom