We have reached the point when over 90 million Americans live in states that have legalized marijuana and when legalization seems set to expand to more states soon. The United States government has already backed off from prosecuting and incarcerating people complying with either this recreational marijuana legalization that varies from state to state or with the medical marijuana legalization in place in many more states. This situation suggests a clear path to the US government adopting a national legalization policy in which it just butts out, leaving marijuana matters to state and local governments.
“Not so fast” seems to be the answer from one of America’s major organizations focused on ending marijuana prohibition. In a Thursday National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) statement, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, after criticizing some recent comments by the US government’s surgeon general related to marijuana use, is quoted making the following recommendation:
The Surgeon General’s time would be better spent advocating for a legally and tightly regulated cannabis market – one in which we educate Americans about the potential harms and benefits of cannabis through evidence-based public education campaigns – rather than through fear-mongering.
Too bad for everyone who was hoping the US government would just leave marijuana and people’s involvement with marijuana alone. NORML’s executive director aspires for a “tightly regulated cannabis market” instead.
Indeed, in the NORML statement, Altieri is quoted condemning the US government’s marijuana prohibition because it provides for, get this, too little exercise of government control. He states: “Our current model of federal prohibition represents the utter lack of control over any aspect of marijuana or the marijuana market.”
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.