Pubdate: Fri, 03 Mar 2006
Source: Aspen Times (CO)
Contact:  2006 Aspen Times
Author: Kirk Muse


Dear Editor:

I'm writing about Christopher Brod's thoughtful letter, "Legalize it"
(Feb. 17).

In the Czech Republic, citizens can legally grow and possess small
quantities of marijuana. The Czech overall drug arrest rate is 1 per
100,000 population. The U.S. overall drug arrest rate is 585 per
100,000 population. The Czech robbery rate is 2 per 100,000
population. The U.S. robbery rate is 145.9 per 100,000 population,
according to the FBI.

According to our drug war cheerleaders, tolerant marijuana laws cause
people to use other, much more dangerous drugs like meth and heroin.
Obviously, this doesn't happen in the Czech Republic. Why not? Could
it be that when people can legally obtain marijuana at an affordable
price, they tend not to use or desire any other recreational drugs?

Could it be that marijuana legalization actually creates a roadblock
to hard-drug use - not a gateway?

(Source for the 145.9 robberies per 100,000 population is from the FBI
Uniform Crime Reports, 2002 final statistics. Source for Czech
Republic marijuana legalization policy: "A Czech toke on freedom" by
Jeffrey Fleishman in the L.A. Times, Jan. 24, 2006:,0,7449540.story )

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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