Pot Prohibition Only Hurts People — Especially the Young

Those who favor the continued prohibition of cannabis base their arguments on the false premise that the continued enforcement of said laws “protects our children.” This statement is nonsense. In fact, just the opposite is true.

The war on weed endangers the health and safety of our children. It enables young people to have unregulated access to marijuana — easier access than they currently have to legal, age-restricted intoxicants like alcohol and tobacco. It enables young people to interact and befriend pushers of other illegal, more dangerous drugs. It compels young people to dismiss the educational messages they receive pertaining to the potential health risks posed by the use of “hard drugs” and prescription pharmaceuticals, because kids say, “If they lied to me about pot, why wouldn’t they be lying to me about everything else, too?”

Most importantly, the criminal laws are far more likely to result in having our children arrested and placed behind bars than they are likely to in any way discourage them to try pot.

These are the facts, and it’s about time we start shouting them from the rooftops.

For three decades now, our opponents have framed this issue from the standpoint that they care more about the health and safety our young people than we do — that were just a bunch of self-centered potheads that are willing to sacrifice the lives of our young people so that we can catch a buzz. Well, its time for us to respond.

Yes, we do favor changing the marijuana laws. We care about protecting the health and safety of our children, too. And by changing the laws, we are protecting the health and safety of America’s young people. After all, under prohibition it’s Americas young people that are being lied to; it’s our children that are being approached by drug dealers; it’s our children that are smoking pot in cars and putting their lives and others at risk to try to avoid the detection of their parents or the law; and it’s our children that are being busted in unprecedented numbers.

by Paul Armentano via Alternet: The War on Pot Is a War on Young People

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