Pubdate: Fri, 17 Feb 2006
Source: Daily Iowan, The (IA Edu)
Copyright: 2006 The Daily Iowan
Author: Robert Sharpe


Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek has good reason to question the
value of zero-tolerance drug policies. Most students outgrow their
youthful indiscretions involving illicit drugs. An arrest and criminal
record, on the other hand, can be life-shattering. After admitting to
smoking pot (but not inhaling), former President Bill Clinton opened
himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism. And thousands of Americans
have paid the price in the form of shattered lives. More Americans
went to prison or jail during the Clinton administration than during
any past administration.

As an admitted former drinker and alleged illicit drug user, President
Bush is also politically vulnerable when it comes to drugs. While
youthful indiscretions didn't stop Clinton or Bush from assuming
leadership positions, an arrest surely would have. The short-term
effects of marijuana are inconsequential, compared with the long-term
effects of criminal records. Students who want to help reform harmful
drug laws should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe

policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy