By Dan Riffle, Special Contributor to CNN
posted October 24, 2013
(CNN) — Anti-marijuana crusaders like Kevin Sabet, while well-intentioned, are promoting policies that lead to more violence and disease in our society. In his recent CNN.com op-ed, Sabet argues we should keep marijuana illegal. But as long as marijuana remains illegal, profits from sales go to criminals and drug cartels, and adults will continue to be punished for using a substance less harmful than currently legal drugs.
Confused? Let’s back up. For more than 80 years, our government has spent tens of billions of taxpayer dollars fighting a war against marijuana. We arrest three-quarters of a million adults every year, 87% for simple possession rather than production or sales of marijuana. Courtrooms turn into assembly lines churning out probationers — mostly minorities — with convictions that will make it virtually impossible to find employment.
The result? Marijuana is universally available, used by almost half of Americans at some point in their lives, and we’ve enriched murderous drug cartels fueling violence in Mexico that has claimed more than 60,000 lives.
Of course, we’ve been down this road before. During alcohol prohibition in the 1930s, federal agents raided speakeasies and busted barrels of illegally produced and imported booze. Meanwhile, bootleggers made money hand over fist, empowering criminals like Al Capone to turn Chicago into an urban war zone. And much like with marijuana today, even under alcohol prohibition most Americans who wanted a drink had no problem finding one.
Today, marijuana prohibition has proven itself just as disastrous a public policy failure as alcohol prohibition before it. Yet despite all the obvious similarities between the two, there’s one key difference: Marijuana is dramatically safer than alcohol.
Read Entire Story Here on CNN Marijuana is safer than alcohol