It’s time for a new approach to marijuana

Back in the late 1980s, I agreed to be the anonymous "responsible businessman who supports drug law reform" guest on Jim French's KIRO radio show. My pseudonym: Jerry. My stance: Our society would be better off by taking the crime out of the marijuana equation. Back then, it felt risky to use my own name when talking drug policy. The next day, I was walking through Edmonds, out for my morning cup of coffee. Someone I didn’t know drove by, rolled down their window, and hollered, “Hey, Jerry...right on!”

About twenty-five years later, I was more comfortable publicly owning my role as an advocate for rethinking our society's approach to marijuana laws.

By this time, I was a board member of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and had started giving talks around town on why we should learn from the Europeans and, rather than lock up pot smokers, embrace a “pragmatic harm reduction” approach that treats drug abuse as a health and educational challenge.

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