Saturday, April 15, 2006

The costs of marijuana prohibition

As I've said before, I have no particular dog in the fight over marijuana. I don't know why marijuana should be prohibited while cigarettes aren't, and vice versa. But I haven't spent much time trying to figure out the logic either. I never smoked either and never wanted to, but I did enjoy the smell of both when friends indulged.

AlterNet has a useful rundown of the costs of marijuana prohibition, and it's worth pointing out a simple economic argument for regulation rather than prohibition. Instead of spending a lot of money on imprisonment and tracking down pot smokers, we could get a new revenue stream to fund needed social programs, including drug treatment.

When you're losing a war, it's time to rethink your strategy.