U.S. should make pot legal and tax it

Columnist Ruth Marcus makes the common mistake of assuming that marijuana prohibition deters use. 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 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. Not just in Colorado but throughout the nation, it’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy