Pubdate: Thu, 24 Mar 2005
Source: View Magazine (Hamilton, CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 View Magazine
Author: Kirk Muse


Dear Editor,

I'm writing about Robert Sharpe's thoughtful letter: "Ott Was Right" (March 

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.

They do not.

In fact, the Dutch use marijuana and other recreational drugs at much lower 
rates than Americans do. See the 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 their 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 and Canada 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. Re-legalize all types of recreational drugs and the term: "drug- 
related crime" will become as obsolete as buggy whips.

- --Kirk Muse
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