White House Case Against Pot Legalization Called “Surprisingly Weak”


In response to New York Times editorials favoring marijuana legalization, the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy published a blog post laying out the federal government’s case against marijuana reform. The Washington Post says the case is “surprisingly weak. It’s built on half-truths and radically decontextualized facts, curated from social science research that is otherwise quite solid.”

For example, the White House says “marijuana use affects the developing brain,” and cites a study showing brain impairment after prolonged marijuana use. The Post says the same is true for alcohol and tobacco, calling ita great argument for restricting young peoples’ access to the drugs (as Washington and Colorado have done with marijuana), but a poor one for banning it completely.” The study cited by the White House was of 59 people who had been heavy marijuana smokers for 16 years, and who had smoked an average of 4.5 joints every single day over that period–far outside the realm of normal, moderate use.

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