Readers React

California should catch up to Colorado on marijuana

To the editor: I respectfully disagree with your editorial. Rather than back up and fix a medical marijuana mess almost two decades late, California legislators need to move forward and fully legalize marijuana. ("In California, a way out of the medical marijuana morass," Editorial, July 31)

Marijuana prohibition is indefensible. If the goal is to subsidize violent drug cartels and criminal profiteers, prohibition is a grand 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 catastrophic failure. The U.S. has almost double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana has been legally available for decades. 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. California needs to forget about its medical marijuana mess and catch up with Colorado already.

Robert Sharpe, Arlington, Va.

The writer is a policy analyst at Common Sense for Drug Policy.

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To the editor: Why is it so difficult to decide who should dispense medical marijuana? Pharmacies and pharmacists are licensed by the state to sell drugs. And they are already regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

This really is a no brainier, but as always, politicians must complicate a simple solution.

Myra Porter, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: It is about time to get the word "medical" out of the entire marijuana discussion.

There is absolutely no need to get medical professionals involved in the subject of cultivation, sale or use of marijuana products. People use the substance to feel better, whether they have cancer or a bad day at the office. Some of us would rather have a martini.

Let's get honest about federal and local laws regarding this drug and drop any reference to medicine.

Paul R. Kuhn, MD, Newport Beach

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