The Marijuana Debate: A Call for More Dialogue, Less Rhetoric

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Roger Roffman, professor emeritus at the University of Washington, offered a thoughtful piece in the Seattle Times yesterday, calling for more dialogue and less rhetoric in the debate over legalizing marijuana. His essay was prompted by an earlier guest editorial that concluded that marijuana legalization will inevitably lead to "increased use and more problems with addiction with kids and their parents."

Pointing out that youth usage rates of the legal products alcohol and tobacco have declined considerably, Professor Roffman does a good job of highlighting what’s needed for a more productive conversation around potential marijuana reforms:

A full [legalization] discussion requires not only that the proponents of change acknowledge the risks of trying a new approach, but also that those opposing change acknowledge the harms of current policies and the potential of alternative strategies.

The full article is worth the read.