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Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 14, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Watchdog group on the lookout for effect of legal pot on teens

The group is biased

Different marijuana products in the display window of Northwest Patient Resource Center in West Seattle. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

Different marijuana products in the display window of Northwest Patient Resource Center in West Seattle. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

A close eye should be kept on the “watchdog” group established by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy to monitor the effects of Washington’s forthcoming legal marijuana market for adults. [“Watchdog group to weigh effect on teens of legalized pot for adults,” NW Thursday, July 11.]

An objective examination of the impacts of the new law is certainly in order, just as it would be for any new public policy. But Kennedy’s organization has conveyed opposition to the very law it plans to evaluate, and it is working to prevent the passage of similar marijuana policy reforms in other states.

A review of all the possible effects of the new law should be conducted. Yet Kennedy’s group does not attempt to hide the fact that it is only looking for the pitfalls, and cannot imagine the possibility that this law, approved by 56 percent of voters, could actually have benefits.

Could use among teens decrease as it becomes harder for them to purchase? Will alcohol-related problems decline once adults have marijuana, an objectively less harmful product, as a legal recreational alternative?

Everyone has their hypotheses. But when it comes to testing them, we should leave it to those without a dog in the fight.

Mason Tvert, director of communications with the Marijuana Policy Project, Denver, Colo.

0 Comments | More in Politics, Seattle | Topics: marijuana, market, patrick kennedy

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