There may be costs to legalizing marijuana. Some people think that they outweigh the benefits. But there’s no question that legalizing marijuana would shift sale of the drug from criminals who sometimes engage in violence to businesses that almost never would. Legalization is the only effective way to eradicate such violence. How can one of America’s most successful police chiefs fail to understand that?
“I don’t think it’s a matter of stupidity,” a Reason commenter theorizes, trying to understand the logical fallacy. “It’s a moral issue. Drugs are bad, so prohibition is good. Any violence resulting from drug prohibition is caused by the drugs, not prohibition, because drugs are bad. To question the premise that drugs are bad is to question his good intentions as a police chief. To say that the violence is caused by the laws that he enforces is a personal insult against his good intentions. So no, I don’t think it is stupidity. It is the hell we live in thanks to that road paved with good intentions.”
That’s as charitable an explanation as any.
Fortunately, a majority of Americans have ceased to believe that fallacy, and several states are poised to ease or end anti-marijuana laws in 2016. It’s about time. Weed prohibition has made America more violent than it would otherwise be for decades. And it is immoral to lock human beings in cages for using marijuana. I have to scratch my head at law-enforcement leaders who want to keep it illegal.