Pubdate: Wed, 02 Nov 2005
Source: Airdrie Echo (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Airdrie Echo
Author: Kirk Muse


I am writing about Colin Walker's thoughtful letter, Dear Mr. Thompson
(Airdrie Echo, Oct. 5, 2005).

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 (see Web site:

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

They do not.

The Dutch murder rate is less than one-third the U. S. per capita
murder rate and that country's rate of incarceration is about
one-seventh the U. S. incarceration rate.

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 =AD thus the
gateway effect.

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

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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