Pubdate: Wed, 05 Oct 2005
Source: Fort Worth Weekly (TX)
Copyright: 2005 New Times, Inc.
Author: Kirk Muse
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


To the editor: Major kudos to Peter Gorman for his outstanding story: "Vets 
Against the (Drug) War" (Sept. 28, 2005). It's one of the best stories on 
our drug war I've ever read, and I've read a lot.

I'd like to add that if tough-on-drugs policies worked, the quixotic goal 
of a drug-free America would have been reached a long time ago. And if 
tolerant drug policies created more drug use, the Netherlands would have 
much higher drug usage rates than the United States.

It does not. In fact, the Dutch use marijuana and other recreational drugs 
at much lower rates than Americans do.

And if tolerant drug policies caused more overall crime, especially violent 
crime, the Dutch would have much higher crime rates than the United States.

They do not. The Dutch murder rate is less than one-third the U. S. per 
capita rate, and their rate of incarceration is about one-seventh the U. S. 

In the Netherlands, marijuana is sold to adults without criminal sanctions 
in coffee shops. In the United States, marijuana is sold by criminals who 
often sell other, much more dangerous drugs and who often offer free 
samples of the more dangerous drugs to their marijuana customers -- thus 
the gateway effect.

Legalize, regulate, and control the sale of marijuana, and we close the 
gateway. Legalize all types of recreational drugs and sell them in licensed 
business establishments, and we will make the term "drug-related crime" 

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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