We’ve Cut Cigarette Smoking in Half Without Arresting Anyone

NORML’s Paul Armentano has a good piece at The Hill, pointing out that sensible drug education can be effective without having to arrest anybody. Even if you believe marijuana is the worst thing in the world, you can’t rationally argue that we must arrest people in order to stop them from doing it. It’s an important observation that I hope can be effective when reaching out to folks who hate drugs.

Please consider posting a comment on the original article to show The Hill that marijuana reform is a popular topic. They’ve been cool about publishing pieces from NORML, which is great since their paper is widely read by Washington insiders.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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bagtrends

    consfearacy

bagtrends needs to get a grip . This ain`t a wal-mart site brother.

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If these spammers ever bothered to check back, they'd know I take out the trash pretty regularly.

Notice to spammers: You will be deleted. Don't waste your time here.

"you can’t rationally argue that we must arrest people......"

When the govt slaps a pair of handcuffs on somebody it shows they are more interested pursuing a hateful puritanical and racist agenda than actual concern for a public health, so any public health message that follows will appear more like propaganda to support the John P. Walters/ONDCP agenda of hate.

Another weakness of putting police officers on the frontlines of this public health issue is that they only come in contact with 3% of the marijuana consumer market every year; however, in Canada they have health warnings on all cigarette packages (such as pictures of lung damage) that reach all consumers. Furthermore, the govt would collect far more money by fining consumers through a tax every time they purchase marijuana than they would from the occasional fines laid on a small percentage of consumers who had the unfortunate luck of being caught by police. Through taxation, govt can control the price of marijuana no matter how much marijuana is put on the market. On the other hand, unregulated distributors just have to produce more marijuana to reduce the prices of their product.

However, I don't think proposing a 7-11 model for a regulated marijuana market will fly in most communities. There has to be a middle ground between the 7-11 model and the unregulated selling and growing around our schools and residential areas. However, I think if a community will tolerate porn shops, alcohol and cigarette sales, they will tolerate a marijuana distribution regulated in some manner that will not influence the children of that community. I think most teens realize that possessing porn videos and cigarettes is not something approved by the vast majority of parents or society just because those markets are legally regulated. In fact, I think most teens would be more embarassed getting caught with a Hustler mag than any alcohol, tobacco or other drug.

Comments on this story are few

both here and on the Times site. The 15 comments on the Times site are all good ones, tho. Come on, people, make your thoughts known to the Times and to congress.

Comments at The Hill are moderated

They come in waves. You'll see many more soon.

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