Las Vegas Sun

September 5, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Prohibition doesn’t make much sense

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Nevada had better act fast if it wants to cash in on marijuana tourism. As evidenced by the 2012 elections, the days when our federal government can successfully get away with confusing the drug war’s tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant are quickly 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 marijuana prohibition is to deter use, 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. It’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

The author is a policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy.

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