Big Marijuana is scary. But not as scary as continuing prohibition

The spread of marijuana legalization in Colorado, Washington state, Oregon, and Alaska over the past few years means that more Americans can now legally buy and sell pot — but this has also given rise to a for-profit industry that may not have public health in mind.

As legalization opponents and drug policy experts put it, this new massive industry will mimic the worst parts of the tobacco and alcohol businesses, marketing marijuana to heavy drug users and encouraging more use and abuse — outcomes that even staunch legalization advocates wouldn't like.

But while the commercialization of pot will cause new and sometimes unknown public health concerns, they pale in comparison to the United States' prohibitionist regime, which has led to a sharp increase in pot-possession arrests — and a black market for illegal drugs that empowers drug cartels to commit violent acts in Latin America.

Commercialization worries a lot...

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