ROBERT SHARPE, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy – The Baltimore Sun
This is the truth that is becoming increasingly apparent.
WASHINGTON — If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize Mexican drug cartels, prohibition is a success (“The nonsense of marijuana busts shown,” Nov. 11). The drug war distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees. There is a reason you don’t see drug cartels sneaking into national forests to cultivate tomatoes and cucumbers. They cannot compete with legitimate farmers.
If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a failure. The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. Spain legalized personal use cultivation and has lower rates of use. Portugal decriminalized all drugs and still has lower rates of use than the U.S. If anything, marijuana prohibition increases use by creating forbidden fruit appeal.
Thanks to honest public education, tobacco use has declined, without any need to criminalize smokers or imprison tobacco farmers. This drop in the use of one of the most addictive drugs available has occurred despite widespread tobacco availability. The only clear winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and shameless tough-on-drugs politicians who’ve built careers confusing the drug war’s collateral damage with a plant.
Phi Beta Iota: Smart young people who self-educate rapidly grow beyond the rote rot of the current educational and public information systems. For government to prohibit something that is not dangerous and is in fact safer than alhohol, reduces government legtimiacy — like putting a stop sign in the desert, begging to be ignored. Marijuana — and other drugs — are also a racket, just like war. They are a profit center and their prohibition, like most government regulations, is intended to optimize the cash yield for the banks and for politicians that rely on prohibition and the tax code and regulations as a means of extorting money from sepcial interests including criminal interests (both white collar and street-level). Apart from Electoral Reform and the Automated Payment Transaction Tax, the ONE THING that President Obama could do to rock the nation (pun intended) is to legalize marijuana.