Opinion

Time to talk about pot?

State Rep. Sherry Appleton is right. It’s time to have a conversation about pot. Not the conversation parents have with their kids about illegal drugs, alcohol, sex, tobacco and other perils of adulthood.

The Poulsbo Democrat wants a public debate over ending a prohibition on a plant, arguably no more harmful than Coors Light, which has its own booming production industry and culture of ever more mainstream books, music and film.

Marijuana can be addictive. It can impair drivers. It can have a deleterious effect on the health of families. It can lead a person down a path toward harder drugs. It has the potential, like alcohol, tobacco and gambling, to ruin a person’s life. It’s also been used as a political tool, its dangers have been comically exaggerated and eradication measures have failed.

Despite the many valid concerns of those satisfied with the current laws, it’s time for the U.S. to consider legalizing the manufacture, distribution and use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Legalization would create new social challenges, and it’s reasonable to imagine the disaster that could follow.

But, so far, the ends have not justified the means. Marijuana prohibition erodes the faith of young and old in their government. It saps money and manpower, it damages the environment and jeopardizes public safety with clandestine grows and has resulted in the arrest and prosecution of otherwise law-abiding citizens. Compared to the danger and damage done to society by alcohol, marijuana prohibition makes us hypocrites.

Appleton may be right about legalizing marijuana so it can be regulated and taxed, a bonanza and a safety measure impossible without action from the federal government.With marijuana use common and otherwise conscientious people earning criminal records for possession, growing and dealing, it may be the only reasonable thing to do.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.