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What’s so bad about weed that we should continue to keep it illegal in this country? The DEA is glad you asked. We should keep weed illegal because it is illegal, they say.

One of the dangers of weed is that if you smoke it, you might get arrested is an impressive bit of tautological reasoning, which comes from The DEA Position on Marijuana, a 2011 document recently obtained by MuckRock in response to a FOIA request. The document puts forth the agency’s arguments for why we should continue weed prohibition at the federal level. The whole thing is worth a read—it also includes an anecdote about using pot to treat an ecstasy overdose as supposed evidence that it has no medical value—but one bullet point sticks out in particular. Under the heading DANGERS OF MARIJUANA, it reads:

According to CASA in their report Criminal Neglect: Substance Abuse, Juvenile Justice, and the Children Left Behind, youth who use marijuana are likelier than those who do not to be arrested and arrested repeatedly. The earlier an individual, the likelier he or she is to be arrested.

Now, it’s likely that they mean that pot-smoking teens are more likely to be arrested for all sorts of things—shoplifting and so on—presumably including smoking pot. But still: if you want to stop kids who smoke from getting arrested so much, there’s a pretty simple solution: stop arresting them for it.

h/t Christopher Moraff