Of course I agree with Attorney General Eric Holder that the impact on children should get substantial weight in figuring out a federal response to cannabis legalization in Washington State and Colorado. If legalization actually increases availability to adults – which, given the looseness of the quasi-medical systems in both states, might prove not to be the case – a likely consequence would increased access for, and use by, juveniles.
Of course, the same is true of the #1 problem drug in every age group: ethyl alcohol. If we want to reduce drug abuse among juveniles, we need to raise alcohol taxes. No surprise that the President’s budget doesn’t include such an increase; the politics is much, much hairier than increasing tobacco taxes, a proposal that is in the budget. But “no surprise” isn’t the same as “no disappointment.”
Any paragraph about drug abuse or crime control that doesn’t end with “And raise alcohol taxes” is, to that extent, defective.