Hats off to the Rocky Mountain Collegian for its endorsement of Amendment 44, the Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative. Our nation tried alcohol prohibition from 1919 to 1931, but discovered that the unintended harms associated with this restrictive policy were more damaging than the behavior Americans sought to discourage. With tobacco, America has learned over the last decade that education – not criminal prohibition – is the most effective way to dissuade use and abuse. Yet, America’s criminal laws and public policies fail to apply these same lessons to the responsible use of marijuana by adults.
The criminal classification of cannabis is disproportionate in relation both to its relative harmlessness to the user, and to the harmfulness of other substances – particularly alcohol and tobacco. It’s time to acknowledge this reality by voting yes on Amendment 44.
senior policy analyst