Dear Mr Cooper,
I have had the honour of reading the news from CNBC website and have had the pleasure to read an article you have written: ‘Why We Should Not Legalize Marijuana’. It was an article based on reasons to prove that legalising marijuana is not a good idea.
I’d like to address on certain points.
Firstly, you write ‘drug policies of the United States are working reasonably well and they have contributed to reductions in the rate of marijuana use in our nation’. If you mean that the use of violence and heavy charges for a pacific action which only concern the user in its own, is ‘reasonably well’ so I guess you are right.
If we pay attention to this fact ‘Marijuana is the most abused illegal drug in the U.S.A. and around the world’; don’t you think this fact isn’t good enough to ask ourselves why this considerable amount of people are consuming marijuana even it is illegal? Maybe it is not such a bad thing after all.
Just after you talk about its cost, saying that ‘the greatest costs resulting from marijuana use itself.’ and then you explain your sentiments by ‘the percentage of people in prison for marijuana use is less than one half of one percent (0.1-0.2 %)’. I might agree with you on this fact, but you did not take into account the “War on Drugs” which doesn’t only cost a huge amount of money, but also takes lives and breaks up families. The violence used by the authorities and the heavy charges against a peaceful and self-concerned act are ridiculous and totally disproportionate. Prohibition also leads to a considerable black market linked to mafia networks, dangerous tensions between the seller and the client and a lot of murders related to drug (vendetta).
All those elements are related on the marijuana prohibition’s costs.
Later on you imagine that the only solution to stop the illegal trade with legalized marijuana would be to ‘sell marijuana untaxed and unregulated to any willing buyer’; well, I don’t think so. We can’t totally eliminate an illegal market but cut it by 50-75%, even taxed and that’s worth it. I think people who use marijuana prefer buying their product in a secure shop with good quality products rather than going out in a dangerous and unknown place in the middle of the night, to pay something they not even totally sure of what is it really.
Then you come with ‘Marijuana is currently the leading cause of substance dependence, other than alcohol’. In my mind, it is a bit easy to put the fault on the plant itself. I mean, moving from marijuana use, to other illegal substances that might cause dependence, really depends on the person mentality/lifestyle. It is not directly linked to the plant effect. Why don’t we start the chain with alcohol, tobacco or even coffee? All these substances affect the brain and can lead to an “I want to experience something stronger than these”.
I’d like to discuss on the ‘marijuana dependence’ too. As you should already know, marijuana is known worldwide to have a devalued level of physic dependence. Also, in my…