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It’s time to end the war on cannabis

Posted 11 January 2019 at 11:07 am

Editor:

It’s an issue of protecting personal liberty, free markets and the 10th amendment. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Most medical papers don’t combine the word addiction and cannabis. There’s a gray area there, the correct term is “cannabis use disorder.” Also there are already laws for impaired driving.  Legalization doesn’t significantly add to the problem, it’s always been there in the first place and comparatively minuscule to alcohol traffic accidents. Do we need laws to ban Ambien, cell phones etc… as well?

The Federal drug war has failed, prohibition has failed. We need to go back to a constitutional approach. There wasn’t even a law against cannabis use until the Marijuana TAX Act of 1937.  Up until this law was passed cannabis products were legal to sell in pharmacies and drug stores, as long as they were properly labeled and regulated. We’re on the wrong track and we can do so much better by just coming to common sense. The war against cannabis causes so much hardship, costs billions of dollars and has accomplished nothing.

The way the laws concerning cannabis are enforced is also very selective, even discriminatory. Statistics show that the socially disadvantaged, immigrants and ethnic minorities have significantly higher arrest rates.

Drug decriminalization, such as allowing the possession of small amounts of cannabis and possibly its cultivation for personal use, would alleviate these harms. Where decriminalization has been implemented – such as in several states in Australia and United States, as well as in Portugal and the Netherlands – no or only very small adverse effects have been shown on population cannabis usage rate.

The lack of evidence of increased use indicates that such a policy shift does not have adverse effects on cannabis-related harm while, at the same time, decreasing enforcement costs.

Licit and illicit drug use is a part of American society, we should work to minimize the effects rather than condemn them. In my opinion removing cannabis from the black market is an effective harm reduction policy.

Sincerely,

Greg McCarthy

Medina