Pot tale of the week

In an interview with the Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, prohibitionist lawyer Jason Guinasso said, “Legalizing something to reduce the problem doesn’t hold water, based on experience. It exacerbates the problem. It doesn’t solve it.” (Emphasis added.)

In the 19th century, boxing was illegal and brutal, with fighters sometimes dying in the ring. Nevada made boxing legal in 1897 to bag a prizefight held in Carson City that year. Because boxing was originally conducted in secrecy, it’s difficult to compare before-and-after death figures, and more than 2,000 boxers have died in legal rings. But making it legal made it possible to regulate it for health and safety concerns.

The same can be said of drinking and prostitution.

Murder, robbery, battery are problems. Boxing, driving, drinking, smoking are activities.

The number of those killed by driving or smoking tobacco is far above those killed by war or marijuana. Shall we outlaw them?

Alcohol is a factor in 55 percent of arrests, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports. The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs reads, “In a high proportion of cases in which a parent beats his young child so severely that hospitalization is required or that death ensues, the parent is drunk at the time.” In contrast, according to President Nixon’s marijuana commission, marijuana “was usually found to inhibit the expression of aggressive impulses.” It also found that violent crime by marijuana users was rare.

Nearly all “problems” associated with marijuana stem from prohibition, not from the plant itself. Prohibition is a problem. Marijuana use is an activity.

Prohibiting something to reduce the “problem” doesn’t hold water, based on experience. It exacerbates it. It doesn’t solve it.