Pubdate: Sun, 22 May 2005
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2005 The Anchorage Daily News
Author: Kirk Muse
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I'm writing about Walter Allan Grant's not-so-thoughtful letter: 
"Legalizing marijuana would solve our problems entirely ... right?" (May 6).

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.

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 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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MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman