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 not to be taken lightly. Heavy use by anyone or any
 use by growing children should be discouraged.
 AJthough conclusive evidence is lacking of major,
 long-term public health probtems caused by mari-.
 juana, they are worrisome possibilities, and both
 the reports and the a priori likelihood of
 developmental damage to some young users makes
 marijuana use a cause for extreme concern.
 At the same time, the effectiveness of the
 present federal poiicy of complete prohibition
 falls far short of its goaF,preventing use. An
 estimated 55 million Americans have tried
 marijuana, federal enforcement of prohibition of
 use is virtually nonexistent, and 1 ! states have
 repealed criminal penalties for private possession
 of small amounts and for private use. It can no
 longer be argued that use would be much more
 widespread and the problematic effects greater
 today if the policy of complete prohibition did not
 exist: The existing evidence on policies of partial
 prohibition indicates that partial prohibition has
 been as effective in controlling consumption as
 complete prohibition and has entailed considerably
 smaller social legal, and economic costs. On
 balance, therefore, we believe that a policy of
 partial prohibition is dearly preferable to a
 policy of compiete prohibition of supply and use.
 We believe, further, that current policies
 directed at controlling the supply of marijuana
 should be seriousiy reconsidered. The demonstrated
 ineffectiveness of control of use through
 prohibition of supply and the high costs of
 implementing such a policy make it very unlikely
 that any kind of partial prohibition policy witl be
 effective in reducing marijuana use significantly
 below present levels. Moreover, it seems likely to
 us that removal of criminal sanctions wi[[ be given
 serious consideration by the federa[ government and
 by the states in the foreseeable future. Hence, a
 variety of alternative policies should be

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