Pubdate: Sun, 14 Apr 2002
Source: Daily Reflector (NC)
Copyright: 2002 Daily Reflector


I was still mulling over the drug bust reported recently by The Daily 
Reflector, when I noticed the corrected amount of marijuana involved. It 
was five pounds, not the tenth of an ounce originally reported.

While I totally support our police in the execution of their jobs as 
demanded by law, I could not help but reflect once again that the law in 
this case is wrong. When we consider the billions of dollars spent 
prosecuting violations of the law against marijuana and incarcerating 
trivial violators, it is time to ask why.

There is no objective evidence that marijuana is a source of any 
significant threat to social order, much less of serious felonies. The 
social cost of cigarettes, alcohol and fat- and sugar-laden snacks is far 
greater. The fear of, and laws against, marijuana are the result of one 
man's obsession back in the '30s. "Reefer Madness" was the product of his 
imagination. The widespread fear he succeeded in inciting is as unfounded 
now as it was then. It is time to stop the real "reefer madness" of the 
meritless law against marijuana, a law more severe and prosecuted more 
severely than the laws against drunk driving, white-collar crime - think 
Enron - and buying special-interest laws that cost us more billions.

We have good reasons to fear drunk drivers and terrorists; our fear of 
marijuana is more like a child's fear of bogeymen: It is foolish. If the 
war against terrorism is no more successful than our war on drugs has been, 
we are in deep trouble. If the "war on drugs" were focused on cocaine and 
heroin and not diluted by chasing marijuana, it might have a better chance 
of success than it has had to date. It is time we got our priorities 
reordered and focused. It is time to decriminalize marijuana.


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