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 can no longer afford to subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors. Not just in Colorado and Washington State but throughout the nation, it’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.
Robert Sharpe, MPA, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy