Pubdate: Mon, 23 Oct 2006
Source: Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan (SD)
Copyright: 2006 Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your thoughtful editorial on medical marijuana (Press &
Dakotan, Oct. 11), if health outcomes determined drug laws instead of
cultural norms, marijuana would be legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana
has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the
addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can be harmful if abused,
but jail cells are inappropriate as health interventions and
ineffective as deterrents. The first marijuana laws were enacted in
response to Mexican migration during the early 1900s, despite
opposition from the American Medical Association.

Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been
counterproductive at best. White Americans didn't even begin to smoke
pot until a soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding
reefer madness propaganda. By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana
providers in California, the same U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
that claims illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing cancer and
AIDS patients into the hands of street dealers. Apparently, marijuana
prohibition is more important than protecting the country from terrorism.

Robert Sharpe, MPA, Washington, D.C.

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake