Readers React

Legalizing pot would be a big win for California

To the editor: With all due respect to the state's commission on marijuana policy and The Times, kids have had easy access to marijuana for decades. Drug dealers don't check IDs, but legal dispensaries do. ("Here's hoping for a marijuana measure that's not half-baked," editorial, April 1)

That is why, according to research on marijuana legalization, teen use has stayed the same or gone down slightly in places that have legalized it for medical or recreational use. Just ask the Mexican cartels how their business models have been impacted by legalization in parts of the U.S.

Furthermore, we already have a living, breathing model with real-life results: Portugal. In 2001, that country decriminalized all drugs with certain limits for personal possession and provided treatment to those considered to be addicted.

Ten years later, studies showed a decrease in the number of drug addicts and levels of drug use below the European average.

At this point, most Americans realize the war on drugs has been a complete failure. It's time to try a new approach: legalize, regulate, tax and educate.

Eric Geisterfer, San Pedro

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To the editor: When it is clear that a majority of voters in California want pot legalized, regulated and controlled, we should expect to get the best kind of legislation from our legislators.

Why are they not stepping up to the plate and doing their job rather than sitting back and allowing the initiative process to once again try to do what's right?

Stephen Downing, Long Beach

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