The Obama Administration firmly opposes the legalization of marijuana or any other illicit drug. The White House’s 2010 Drug Control Strategy asserts that keeping drugs illegal reduces their availability and lessens willingness to use them. The White House claims that legalizing drugs would increase accessibility and encourage promotion and acceptance of use.
Maybe the White House should re-think their strategy. Under present prohibition, more than 1/3 of 8th graders, more than 2/3rds of 10th graders, and some 85 percent of 12th graders say that marijuana is “easy to get.” Even according to the stridently prohibitionist group CASA (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University), more teens say that they can get their hands on marijuana than alcohol, and one-quarter say that they can buy marijuana within the hour.
A better strategy to reduce youth availability to marijuana is legalization and regulation. This strategy is the same one that we employ for the use of virtually every other product except marijuana. Legalization and regulation would impose common-sense controls regarding who can legally produce, distribute, and consume marijuana.