Letter: State is ahead in policymaking



The voters of Washington state are way ahead of the politicians in Washington, D.C. The cautions outlined in a Dec. 6 editorial, “Pot: Proceed with caution,” highlight the pressing need for marijuana law reform on a national level. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a 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. As a policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy, I think the federal war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign.

Robert Sharpe

Washington, D.C.