Gov­ern­ment’s pot de­cep­tion

Los Angeles Times - - SUNDAY OPIN­ION -

Re “What hap­pened to the pot stigma?,” Opin­ion, June12

Seth Leib­sohn and for­mer U.S. drug czar Wil­liam J. Ben­nett give the “mar­i­juana lobby” far too much credit for the grow­ing sup­port for mar­i­juana law re­form.

It’s re­ally sim­ple: Most young adults have per­son­ally tried mar­i­juana. In do­ing so, they could not help but re­al­ize that our gov­ern­ment has been ly­ing about mar­i­juana for decades. Mar­i­juana is not nearly as dan­ger­ous (or ex­cit­ing) as gov­ern­ment pro­pa­ganda sug­gests.

The so-called mar­i­juana lobby is a re­cent de­vel­op­ment re­sult­ing from suc­cess­ful state bal­lot ini­tia­tives to tax and reg­u­late mar­i­juana. Le­gal busi­nesses that pay taxes and take prof­its away from vi­o­lent drug car­tels are the end re­sult.

It’s per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence that has led a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans to rightly con­clude that mar­i­juana is safer than al­co­hol and does not merit a crim­i­nal jus­tice re­sponse. Robert Sharpe

Washington The writer is a pol­icy an­a­lyst for Com­mon Sense for Drug Pol­icy.

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