Marijuana prohibition is indefensible

Dear Editor,


Regarding your thoughtful June 14 editorial, the move to decriminalize marijuana in Jamaica will definitely be worth watching. Guyana would be wise to follow suit.

United States President Barack Obama is allowing marijuana legalization to move forward. The next president may not be so enlightened.

Guyana should legalize marijuana now, before the US starts using its superpower status to bully other nations once again.

It’s not just about opportunistic timing, it’s the right thing to do. Marijuana prohibition is indefensible. 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 is to deter use, marijuana prohibition is a catastrophic failure.

The United States has almost double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands where marijuana is legal. The criminalization of citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science. The war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign. In Guyana and all around the world, it’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.


Yours faithfully,
Robert Sharpe
Policy Analyst
Common Sense for Drug Policy

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