Know Your Potheads



In his much-discussed column last week, David Brooks admitted to getting stoned in high school, but dismissed legalization, calling for a government that “subtly encourages the highest pleasures, like enjoying the arts or being in nature” and discourages people from getting stoned. I’m all for government that extols the virtues of the arts and nature, but decriminalizing pot is hardly tantamount to encouraging people to smoke it.

Blacks are four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana, even though usage falls evenly across different racial demographics. As travel-guide author and TV personality Rick Steves points out in his statement on the NORML site:

“Last year over 750,000 Americans were arrested on marijuana charges. Many of them were sentenced to mandatory prison time. Our courts and prisons are clogged with non-violent people whose only offense is smoking, buying or selling marijuana. While our nation is in a serious financial crisis, it spends literally billions of dollar annually chasing down responsible adults who are good, tax-paying citizens in all regards except for the occasional use of marijuana.”



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Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

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