TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Reefer madness: End prohibition

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, July 11, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
 

Incremental reductions in marijuana prohibition's societal harm are welcome. But federal and state laws' resulting conflicts must be resolved — by flat-out federal legalization, taxation and regulation.

Medical use is legal in 18 states and D.C., recreational use in Colorado and Washington state. Pew Research Center data show 52 percent of adults favor legalization, up by 11 points since 2010. Sixty percent oppose enforcing federal anti-marijuana laws in states that have legalized use.

Yet marijuana's politically motivated 1970 federal classification as having “no currently accepted medical use” remains, frustrating researchers. The Obama administration's Justice Department talks vaguely about enforcement priorities, not about respecting states' decisions outright.

Prohibition squanders law-enforcement, judicial and corrections dollars to criminalize otherwise law-abiding Americans while forgoing potential new tax revenues — all in a failed effort against a plant that causes demonstrably less societal harm than legal alcohol or tobacco.

“Having a regulated system is the only way to ensure that we're not ceding control of this popular substance to the criminal market and to black marketeers,” says Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

And the only way to do that while resolving state-federal conflicts for all Americans is federal-level reform that reflects scientific and political reality.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. EPA diktats: Pushing back
  2. Sunday pops
  3. The Box
  4. Kittanning Laurels & Lances
  5. Jamestown revealed: History comes alive
  6. The Connellsville Redevelopment Authority: Facts & findings
  7. Regional growth
  8. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  9. Saturday essay: Garden chances
  10. The Fiat Chrysler mess: Government’s virus
  11. Yes, the IRS targeted conservatives