Letters to the Editor

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MARIJUANA: Prohibition hurts taxpayers, enriches cartels

Letter by Robert P. Sharpe, Arlington, Va. on March 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm | 12 Comments »
March 14, 2011 1:24 pm

Your Mar. 10 editorial correctly noted that the Obama administration will not like state Senate proposals to commercialize marijuana cultivation.

Medical marijuana is a threat to the prohibition paradigm. The feds would seemingly prefer to protect organized crime rather than allow an alternative regulatory model to generate new tax revenue. Marijuana prohibition hurts taxpayers, youth and the millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens who have been criminalized for preferring marijuana to martinis.

The No. 1 product of Mexican drug cartels is marijuana. An estimated 35,000 Mexicans have died in prohibition-related violence over the past few years. Marijuana prohibition opens a gateway to hard drugs. As long as cartels control distribution, marijuana consumers will be exposed to methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

Unlike alcohol or prescription narcotics, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death. Marijuana may be relatively harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

(Sharpe is a policy analyst with Common Sense for Drug Policy.)

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