Pubdate: Thu, 28 Nov 2002
Source: Pensacola News Journal (FL)
Copyright: 2002 The Pensacola News Journal
Author: Robert Sharpe


Escambia County principals have apparently bought into the myth that
punitive sanctions deter drug use. The University of Michigan's
"Monitoring the Future Study" reports that lifetime use of marijuana
is higher in the U.S. than any European country, yet America is one of
the few Western countries that uses its criminal justice system to
destroy the lives of citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis.

It's worth noting that tobacco use has declined considerably in recent
years. Public education efforts are paying off. This raises serious
questions about the zero-tolerance war on some drugs.

Mandatory minimum prison sentences, civil asset forfeiture, random
drug testing and racial profiling are not necessarily the most
cost-effective means of discouraging unhealthy choices.

Program Officer
Drug Policy Alliance
Washington, D.C.
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