Sharpe: Colorado leads the weed way
April 22, 2013
Regarding John Young’s April 18 column, the people of Colorado are way ahead of the politicians in Washington, DC. The days when our federal government can get away with deliberately 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 of prohibition is to deter use, marijuana prohibition is a catastrophic failure. The United States has 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 culture warriors. Not just in Colorado but throughout the nation, it’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.
Robert Sharpe, Arlington, Virginia