Pubdate: Tue, 06 May 2014
Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
Copyright: 2014 The Providence Journal Company
Author: Jared Moffat


When something is broken, it needs to be fixed. Marijuana prohibition 
is a broken policy, and it is time to enact a solution.

The "rush" to end marijuana prohibition ("Why rush on pot, Rhode 
Island?," Commentary, May 6) comes from the fact that we have lived 
under this failed policy for more than 70 years.

We have seen that marijuana prohibition does nothing to reduce the 
availability and use of marijuana. Instead, it only enriches 
criminals who sell it illegally in an unregulated market. We don't 
need to wait any longer to know that our current approach to 
marijuana is the wrong way to go.

 From personal liberty to public safety, there are many reasons to 
support ending marijuana prohibition, but the most urgent one is our 
state's weak economy. If Rhode Island takes the initiative on 
marijuana reform this year, our state will soon become a leader in 
the rapidly growing cannabis economy. Rhode Island should act this 
year to give our entrepreneurs a head start advantage before other 
states in the region beat us to it.

With hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue 
at stake, are we going to let irrational fears and dogma stand in the 
way of economic progress? Let's address the failure of marijuana 
prohibition and be a leader on smart marijuana policy this year.

Jared Moffat


The writer is director of Regulate Rhode Island, a group that 
advocates for legalization of marijuana.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom