To the Editor:
Like an addict worried where he will get his next fix or a pusher worried about losing his best customer, Maryland police organizations are absolutely apoplectic at the prospect of any real experiments with marijuana decimalization.
Much like the police, I’m concerned with substance abuse and the prospect that an abuser might drive. But then again, all of the secondary concerns brought up by police, such as impaired driving, are already crimes and will remain so even after marijuana decimalization.
I am likewise concerned that youth will try any harmful substance, including alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana, but it is simply being realistic to acknowledge that most will try these are some point in their youth.
However, what concerns me far more are the waste, damage, and discrimination done by current prohibition policies: young lives ruined by criminal convictions, African-Americans prosecuted at much higher rates, high-level drug dealers who are further empowered and enriched, and many similar unintended yet worse consequences of the marijuana war.
Much the same as we learned with prohibition of alcohol, current marijuana laws have done little but waste police resources, hurt the potential of our youth, and benefit dealers.
After 40 or more years with the current, misguided policies, common sense tells us that it is time to experiment with change. Don’t let police continue to use our youth as easy targets and a revenue stream.
Let’s break law enforcement’s addiction to marijuana convictions.