Punishing adults does not protect kids
Great op-ed by Mason Tvert, head of SAFER, the organization that's promoting the Colorado iniative to legalize marijuana for adults there. As he points out arresting adults for responsible use of a plant is not protecting children. In fact it's endangering them more and pushing many of them into alcohol abuse.
The opposing op-ed is misleading prohibitionist propaganda at it's best. It's incredible. These people just make up stuff. I know for a fact that the quasi-legalization of cannabis has not made its use more attractive to Dutch teenagers. I have first hand accounts from several young folks from Holland who were my neighbors for a time in Northampton, that Dutch teens mainly view it as not a big deal and most prefer not to use it themselves.
That's not to say there aren't any teens using it there. There are, and some even use it excessively and irresponsibly, but that can also be said for US teens, so legalization is not the driving factor. And while one might see a rise in reported use when those kids who already consume the plant feel they won't be penalized for telling the truth, that would protect our kids, because it would be easier to identify those who are having a problem with abuse and they would feel comfortable admitting they had a problem if they didn't fear the penalities for disclosing it. [hat tip MAP]