Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske is very much against the idea of marijuana legalization, and since he is asked about it periodically, he gets a chance to espouse on the evils of cannabis. He was asked about it again on Monday, and he said legalization is not the answer.

He said that the administration didn’t think “locking everyone up for marijuana” was a solution, but he also said that “legalization isn’t going to solve our drug problem.” Maybe they aren’t “locking everyone up,” but they are locking up a ton.

Nearly 758,600 Americans were arrested in 2010 for simple possession. That was about 88 percent of all marijuana arrests that year. In fact, more than half of all drug arrests in 2010 stemmed from marijuana-related offenses.

Someone possessing marijuana is not infringing on the rights of anyone, yet hundreds of thousands are arrested every year for it. It’s an incredibly useless and wasteful policy that creates criminals of of people who are not harming anyone and enriches violent drug cartels and gangs.

Joe Klare