Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jun 2005
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2005 The Washington Post Company
Author: Kai Langlie


Despite the opinion of George F. Will ["This War Is Worth Fighting," op-ed,
June 16], arresting thousands of people a day for the possession of
narcotics is not sensible.

Marijuana was made illegal in 1937. The federal law to ban it was based on
faulty, often misleading and sometimes racist testimony. Some people at that
time claimed that gangs of African Americans were smoking marijuana and
raping white women because of it.

Most people who use marijuana are otherwise law-abiding and able to make
competent decisions about right and wrong. Marijuana has been part of human
culture for thousands of years.

The "war on drugs" is futile -- just look at all the killings and
underground activity that it has caused. The Post, for example, recently ran
an article on how widespread drug-related crime is in Mexico ["More Than 600
Killed This Year Despite Aggressive Crackdown," front page, June 16].

Opponents say that if illicit drugs were legal, more of our kids would use
them and be unable to function. But the Dutch have had a sensible drug
policy for 30 years, and the number of youths affected by drugs is lower in
the Netherlands than in the United States.

This country should stop blaming all the bad things that happen in society
on an illicit plant and hold people more accountable for their actions,
whether or not they use drugs. We need to replace the war on drugs with a
more sensible national drug policy.


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