Letter to the Editor

Republicans should support marijuana legalization

In his April 5 Washington Forum commentary, “Republicans should just say no,” Peter Wehner advised the Republican Party to base its comeback on opposition to marijuana reform. If the GOP has any desire to regain control of the White House, it should take the opposite approach.

Public support for marijuana legalization has increased dramatically in the past decade, and a Pew Research Center poll released last weekshowed for the first time a majority of Americans favoring legalization. In all likelihood, this trend is only going to continue, perhaps even accelerating once the public sees that the sky doesn’t fall in Colorado and Washington state.

As justification for his proposal, Mr. Wehner lamented the decline of support for regulating morality. But the same Pew poll also showed that fewer Americans consider marijuana use to be a moral issue: Less than a third now believe that smoking the drug is morally wrong.

If the GOP is interested in regaining some respect from the American people, it must support marijuana legalization, not stand in its way.

Sam Tracy, Washington

The writer is chairman of the board at Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

One argument for the legalization of marijuana, and of drugs in general, was conspicuously not addressed by Peter Wehner: the deaths related to the illegal traffic of drugs and the enormous wealth and power accumulated by drug kingpins and the cartels. This violence affects not only our neighbors to the south but also the United States. One could say that we have a choice between two evils, but the evil brought about by the traffic of illegal substances is surely far greater than that from decriminalization, which would subject users to the laws and controls of the state. It is more immoral not to legalize drugs than to stand by and watch the havoc that the present situation has brought.

Sabina Dym, Potomac

 
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