As the previous U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, part of my job was to enforce our nation’s prohibition on marijuana. I carried out my sworn duty without hesitation. But I saw then, and can say now, that marijuana prohibition has been a miserable failure.
Despite the fact that we arrest more marijuana users now than ever before, usage has not gone down. Nor have we had any impact on marijuana’s availability. In fact, marijuana is cheaper and more available now than it was 20 years ago. And all the profits are funneled to criminal organizations.
It’s time for a reality check — our current marijuana laws are not working for us, they’re working against us. It is time for a new approach. That’s why I’m asking you to vote yes on I-502 on November 6.
I’m not advocating the use of marijuana, I’m advocating we stop treating marijuana use as a crime. We should instead tax marijuana and invest revenues in prevention, education, and health care. These are more cost-effective strategies that have the added benefit of freeing up law enforcement resources for serious crime.
We need to take control of the supply of marijuana. Millions of Americans use marijuana despite its illegality, just as millions of Americans used alcohol during Prohibition. The economic impacts are predictable — marijuana’s value as a black market commodity is 10 times what it would be as a legal, regulated product, and billions of dollars flow, untaxed, into the hands of violent criminal organizations every year. The fights to control these artificially inflated profits have contributed to the deaths of more than 55,000 men, women, and children in Mexico, and gang murders in British Columbia.
– Read the entire article at Kitsap Sun.
Watch New Approach Washington’s new Yes on I-502 ad featuring John McKay: