by Norm Stamper
(Source) Former county judge James Gray and former police officer Jeff Studdard deserve praise for bravely speaking out against the harmful and ineffective marijuana laws they spent so much of their lives enforcing (“Slowly, limits on pot are fading,”).
As a former chief of police in Seattle, I also saw how the prohibition of marijuana and other drugs does nothing to stop substance abuse.
Rather, it fuels the vast and violent drug cartels and street gangs that control the obscenely profitable illegal market. Prohibition guarantees high rates of property crimes, public corruption, disease, violence and death.
As more law enforcers and legislators publicly acknowledge what they’ve long known, namely that our “war on drugs” causes far more harm than good, we’ll enact laws that actually regulate and control drug markets. In the process, we’ll reduce children’s access, help those with substance abuse problems, and make our communities healthier and safer.