LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cannabis prohibition just doesn’t work

I recently attended the Delaware Citizens’ Cannabis Lobby Day at Legislative Hall in Dover and came away convinced that now is time for the state of Delaware to approve House Bill 110, legalizing adult recreational use of cannabis.

Prohibition doesn’t work.

It didn’t work with alcohol, a far more dangerous drug than cannabis, and it doesn’t work with cannabis. What prohibition accomplishes is creating and facilitating an environment in which criminals control the trade and profits of a multi-billion dollar industry.

People who want to consume cannabis will do so. The questions are where will they purchase it and who will profit from the consumption. Given this reality, it makes far more sense for this product to be regulated and taxed, just as alcohol is.

Over the next two years, the state of Washington will take in over $730 million in tax revenue from the legal sale of cannabis. Colorado has raised more than half a billion dollars in tax revenue since it legalized recreational use three years ago. This money is now being used to fund much-needed programs for education, health care and health education, substance abuse education and treatment and law enforcement.

Under current law in Delaware, there are no tax receipts from the money spent on cannabis for the State to then use to help its citizens in need. Profits from sales go to criminal organizations and consumers have no consumer protections.

Numerous studies have shown that cannabis legalization does not lead to increased teen usage, that cannabis is not a “gateway drug” and that it will not result in significant increases in traffic fatalities.

I was impressed by how many Delaware citizens I saw and met at Lobby Day. Registered voters of a variety of backgrounds with one thing in common, a desire for common sense laws regarding cannabis.

It is time for all cannabis consumers to speak out and make your voices heard.

We can change the law and reap the benefits of progressive legislation.

Contact your state representative and urge them to vote yes on House Bill 110.

Dan Winschel

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