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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It's time

Dope God animated GIFThe Providence Journal editorial board has come out against Rhode Island’s proposed marijuana regulation legislation — “Put pot on hold” — again illustrating the piece with that skeevy-looking guy with the dirty fingernails (sorry whoever you are).

The ProJo board joins legalization advocates everywhere* in their concern for young people and the effects of marijuana on developing brains, writing, “Addiction specialists warn that children seem to seriously damage themselves, both neurologically and socially, through marijuana use.”

Why then have we chosen the worst possible system for keeping marijuana out of the hands of these kids? Black market drug sellers never check ID’s. Compare to liquor store owners who have a license to protect are not about to risk their livelihoods just to make some teens happy on prom night.

So, how well has prohibition been working in Rhode Island? Results from a recent government study indicate Rhode Islanders are having no trouble finding pot now.
The federally-funded National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that Rhode Island has the highest percentage of people who used marijuana in the last month — 14.08 percent. Colorado is second with 12.70 percent of residents saying they’ve used cannabis in the past 30 days.
Tom Angell of suggests, “The results seem to undercut legalization opponents’ claim that prohibition must be maintained in order to prevent marijuana use from skyrocketing.”

And these are no longer hypothetical questions. The MPP reports, “Preliminary data from the post-legalization ‘2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey’ indicate that high school marijuana use in Colorado had actually decreased.” This would mirror survey results from Portugal which decriminalized all drugs in 2001.

Like many readers, Jared Moffat of Regulate Rhode Island, found the Journal’s take on the situation strangely regressive.
Reefer madness is alive and well at the ProJo. Apparently regulating marijuana like alcohol would cause “the general rot of Rhode Island, as a ‘stoner society’ increasingly supplants one that promotes hard work, sharp thinking, staying healthy and caring for others.” Is this really 2015?
More like 1915. Why do you think they still call it “dope”?

*I am a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officers who want to end the war on drugs.