In an editorial on marijuana legalization in Quincey, Massachusett’s Patriot Ledger late last month, the editors submit the argument that to ignore the issue of legalization is to cede control over it. True enough. But here’s where they slipped up…
The epidemic of drug-related deaths among our youngest residents makes it impossible to support legalization of marijuana…
…and got nailed for it. The comments section is a must-read, as the overwhelming majority of commenters point out the glaringly obvious: the number of deaths attributed to marijuana use in any given year are approximately zero. Stating you can’t support marijuana legalization because of drug-related deaths is preposterous.
Credit where credit’s due, though: they did print an op-ed by Mr. Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML and co-author of Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? Paul agrees that the government needs to take control of the marijuana issue… by legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana.
If the editors at The Patriot Ledger truly believe that “to guide drug policy, you must take ownership of it,” (Our Opinion: “Legislature wise to address legalization of marijuana,” Oct. 20), then they should be advocating in support of legalizing and regulating marijuana – not opining against it.
Only through state government regulation will we be able to bring necessary controls to the marijuana market.
By enacting state and local legislation on the use, production and distribution of marijuana, state and local governments can effectively impose controls regarding:
Which citizens can legally produce marijuana;
Which citizens can legally distribute marijuana;
Which citizens can legally consume marijuana;
And where, and under what circumstances, is such use legally permitted.
By contrast, the prohibition of marijuana – even under decriminalization – provides Massachusetts law enforcement and state regulators with no legitimate market controls.
This absence of state and local government controls jeopardizes, rather than promotes, public safety.