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Washington Post Editorial Board Goes Full Reefer Madness

The Washington Post editorial board already came out against Initiative 71, which would legalize marijuana in the D.C., in an error ridden op-ed they still refuse to issue a correction for. Now they are doubling down with this Reefer Madness op-ed against the Council getting ready to fulfill the will of the electorate. From the Washington Post:

As The Post’s Marc Fisher recently detailed, some leaders in the African American community worry that legalization would not keep more young blacks out of jail because a more readily available drug could lead young people to harder drugs. “Scratch the surface of most homicides and rape cases, and the perpetrators were high on drugs, including marijuana,” said Arthur Burnett of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition.

We are not in the Reefer Madness school of marijuana prohibitionWe favored decriminalization. But the drug can have harmful effects; Its active ingredient has been linked to memory problems, impaired thinking and weakened immune systems. And we question whether it is possible to legalize the drug for adults without sending a message to youth that its use is risk-free.

Printing unfounded speculation that implies marijuana legalization could possible be responsible for rape is the very definition of Reefer Madness.

Instead of highlighting fact-free worries, what we should look at is real data. Studies actually show that marijuana use is actually associated with decreased levels of domestic violence.

Data also indicates marijuana legalization could easily decrease both access to and use of harder drugs by reducing the power and number of interactions people have with the black market. A 2013 European Commission report found, “Excluding the Netherlands, between 26% (Czech Republic) and 52% (Sweden) of the cannabis users indicate that other drugs are available at the location where they usually buy cannabis. The relatively low proportion in the Netherlands (14% overall, 9% for those who buy in coffee shops), is likely to reflect the policy of separation of the cannabis and hard drugs markets.

Finally, this “question” about how it might be impossible to properly message to young people is pathetic. We already have proof that a substance can be legal for adults but we still let young people know using it is bad idea. We have successfully done it for years when it comes to cigarettes. In fact thanks to a smart regulation-based approach, in 2013 the rate of past month cigarette use among 12-17 year olds was actually lower than the rate of past marijuana marijuana use in that same age group.

It is growing increasingly clear that the Washington Post editorial board members personally oppose marijuana legalization and are just lazy about looking for excuses to justify their personal opinion. It is pathetic that they don’t even bother to examine the current research about the concerns they raise while having the gall to claim their opposition is based on not having enough “scientific research” yet.

CommunityJust Say Now

Washington Post Editorial Board Goes Full Reefer Madness

The Washington Post editorial board already came out against Initiative 71, which would legalize marijuana in the D.C., in an error ridden op-ed they still refuse to issue a correction for. Now they are doubling down with this Reefer Madness op-ed against the Council getting ready to fulfill the will of the electorate. From the Washington Post:

As The Post’s Marc Fisher recently detailed, some leaders in the African American community worry that legalization would not keep more young blacks out of jail because a more readily available drug could lead young people to harder drugs. “Scratch the surface of most homicides and rape cases, and the perpetrators were high on drugs, including marijuana,” said Arthur Burnett of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition.

We are not in the Reefer Madness school of marijuana prohibitionWe favored decriminalization. But the drug can have harmful effects; Its active ingredient has been linked to memory problems, impaired thinking and weakened immune systems. And we question whether it is possible to legalize the drug for adults without sending a message to youth that its use is risk-free.

Printing unfounded speculation that implies marijuana legalization could possible be responsible for rape is the very definition of Reefer Madness.

Instead of highlighting fact-free worries, what we should look at is real data. Studies actually show that marijuana use is actually associated with decreased levels of domestic violence.

Data also indicates marijuana legalization could easily decrease both access to and use of harder drugs by reducing the power and number of interactions people have with the black market. A 2013 European Commission report found, “Excluding the Netherlands, between 26% (Czech Republic) and 52% (Sweden) of the cannabis users indicate that other drugs are available at the location where they usually buy cannabis. The relatively low proportion in the Netherlands (14% overall, 9% for those who buy in coffee shops), is likely to reflect the policy of separation of the cannabis and hard drugs markets.

Finally, this “question” about how it might be impossible to properly message to young people is pathetic. We already have proof that a substance can be legal for adults but we still let young people know using it is bad idea. We have successfully done it for years when it comes to cigarettes. In fact thanks to a smart regulation-based approach, in 2013 the rate of past month cigarette use among 12-17 year olds was actually lower than the rate of past marijuana marijuana use in that same age group.

It is growing increasingly clear that the Washington Post editorial board members personally oppose marijuana legalization and are just lazy about looking for excuses to justify their personal opinion. It is pathetic that they don’t even bother to examine the current research about the concerns they raise while having the gall to claim their opposition is based on not having enough “scientific research” yet. (more…)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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