Pubdate: Tue, 27 May 2003
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2003 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Note: only publishes letters from state residents.
Author: Kimberly Hanna


Letter writer Ariel Lipner (Telegram & Gazette, May 13) thinks marijuana 
consumption will rise with legalization, but the opposite has proven true 
in the Netherlands.

In the Netherlands, small amounts of marijuana are sold with government 
approval in licensed coffee shops and their marijuana usage is far less 
than American use for both teens and adults.

America's teens' and adults' use of marijuana per capita is greater than 
any other country in the world and we have some of the harshest laws 
possible, including the death penalty for large growers.

We can see that criminal penalties do not keep people from smoking 
marijuana. Marijuana prohibition, in fact, increases marijuana use because 
the act of smoking grass is a coming-of-age scenario for teens and defines 
teen rebellion against the establishment society. The"forbidden fruit" 
might come to mind.

There are many forms of marijuana regulation and legalization. Perhaps no 
advertising will be allowed or marijuana will only be available by 
prescription. We can work out the details and regulations for marijuana so 
that its sale is controlled.

The current marijuana prohibition laws are an utter failure and don't 
protect our youth from exposure to marijuana, since almost half of all 
teens have had access to and tried marijuana.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens