Pubdate: Mon, 31 Dec 2001
Source: The Daily Star (Lebanon)
Author: Johnny Seikaly
Note: This improbably headline appears to be the title of an article to 
which the letter responds


A recent survey I conducted upon my last visit concluded that at least 45 
percent of the Lebanese population smoked hashish. The same survey also 
concluded that 90 percent of tourists smoked hashish. What better way to 
exploit these findings then to "Amsterdamize" Beirut?

The first step is to distinguish between drugs that pose a danger to 
society (heroin and cocaine), and those that are no more harmful than a 
drink (hashish and marijuana).

If the government were to issue 10 licenses to growers in the Bekaa, and 
issue 20 licenses for pub owners in Beirut to supply users with hashish and 
marijuana in their establishment, then money collected in taxes could be 
used to aid Lebanon to get out of its debt.

Legalization of marijuana and hashish would also do wonders to Lebanon's 
suffering tourist industry. The influx of stoners from all over the world 
that would come to enjoy the renowned Lebanese hash would fill hotels, 
restaurants and flights coming into Beirut.

I realize this writing is limited in scope and completely non- scientific. 
However I am sure that if a scientific study were conducted it would come 
to the same conclusion.

Johnny Seikaly
Virginia, USA 
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart