Balto. County ban on 'legal pot' more failed policy

August 19, 2010

Baltimore County Council member Kevin Kamenetz's proposal to criminalize K2 ("Days of 'legal pot' could be number in Balto. County," Aug. 17) ignores our nation's experience with nearly forty years of a disastrous war on drugs.

Making criminals out of sellers and users of a product that is said to imitate the effects of marijuana will not reduce the demand for K2. Banning K2 may also frustrate efforts by local universities to research potential medicinal benefits of the chemical compounds these products contain.

Despite furious efforts to eradicate marijuana demand and supply, the drug remains both popular and prevalent. Policymakers and the public have learned that marijuana prohibition has failed and that a combination of treatment and education is most effective at reducing harmful use. The right response to a lack of K2 regulation is not to condemn more people with criminal records during an economic recession; Councilmember Kamenetz should seek to regulate and tax legal K2 sales and use by adults.

Grant Smith

The writer is federal policy coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group..

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