Pubdate: Mon, 16 May 2005
Source: Bradenton Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2005 Bradenton Herald
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about the not-so-thoughtful letter from Richard Bowers: "Prison 
Cuts Crime" (May 3). 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, 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.

Kirk Muse, Mesa, Ariz.
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