Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jul 2004
Source: Las Vegas Mercury (NV)
Copyright: 2004 Las Vegas Mercury
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Opinion)


Kudos to Randall G. Shelden for exposing the reefer madness lies of
drug czar John Walters in his July 14 op-ed ["Ineffective, Expensive
Drug War Rages On"]. Walters has a history of deliberately distorting
information. Consider the record numbers of U.S. citizens arrested for
marijuana possession and forced into treatment by the criminal justice
system. The resulting impact on treatment statistics is then used by
drug czar John Walters to make the claim that marijuana is
"addictive." Zero-tolerance drug laws do not distinguish between
occasional use and chronic abuse.

The coercion of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis into
taxpayer-funded treatment centers says a lot about U.S. government
priorities, but absolutely nothing about the relative harms of
marijuana. For an objective take on marijuana, look to Canada. In the
words of Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin, "Scientific evidence overwhelmingly
indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and
should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public
health issue."

Robert Sharpe, MPA,

Policy analyst,

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake