Regarding Daniel Takash's thoughtful commentary on marijuana laws, marijuana prohibition is indefensible ("Marijuana legalization is the only option," Oct. 27).
If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a grand success; the drug war distorts supply and demand so that big money grows on little trees. But if the goal is to deter use, marijuana prohibition is a catastrophic failure.
The U.S. has almost double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana has been legally available for decades. The criminalization of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science and the war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign.
It's time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.
Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C.