R. Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, on Tuesday denied there was any reason the United States should regulate marijuana the same way it regulates alcohol.
“There are no good reasons to legalize marijuana,” he said at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress.
“I often hear about tax, regulate and control as an answer,” Kerlikowske continued. “And then I look at prescription drugs — which as I mentioned take over fifteen thousand lives a year, let alone the number of people who come into emergency departments and the number of people that are treated — and prescription drugs are already taxed, are already regulated, are already controlled and we do a very poor job of keeping them out of the hands of abusers and young people.”
“So I don’t see that we would do a very good job with a substance that can easily evade the tax scheme because it doesn’t take rocket science to grow marijuana.”
Residents of Colorado and Washington will vote on a ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in November. A similar ballot initiative failed in California in 2010.
Watch video, clipped by the Marijuana Policy Project, below:
Full video available here.