To The Editor:
Your July 6-7 editorial gives readers the false impression that there is something unique about marijuana that somehow justifies marijuana prohibition.
Yes, marijuana poses a risk to persons with a predisposition toward schizophrenia. So does alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, etc.
There is a strong correlation between schizophrenia and substance abuse. Addiction to nicotine (tobacco) is three times higher among schizophrenics than the general population.
Correlation does not equal causation however, and schizophrenia rates have remained steady for decades, despite fluctuating drug use trends.
If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a 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 failure. The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal.
The criminalization of Americans 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.
It’s time to stop the arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.