Pubdate: Wed, 26 Apr 2006
Source: Spectrum, The (SUNY At Buffalo, NY Edu)
Copyright: 2006 The Spectrum Student Periodical, Inc
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about your thoughtful editorial "Giambra's deep thought"
(April 21).

I'd like to add that there is only one country in the world that is
actually winning the drug war: the Czech Republic. And they are using
dramatically different strategies to do so. The Czech Republic is the
only country in the world where adult citizens can legally use,
possess and grow small quantities of marijuana. (In the Netherlands,
marijuana is quasi-legal -- not officially legal.)

The Czech overall drug arrest rate is 1 per 100,000 people. The United
States' overall drug arrest rate is 585 per 100,000. The Czech robbery
rate is 2 per 100,000. The United States' robbery rate is 145.9 per
100,000, according to our FBI.

According to our drug war cheerleaders, tolerant marijuana laws cause
people to use other, much more dangerous drugs, like methamphetamine
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?

Could it be that the vast majority of our so-called "drug-related
crime" is caused by our marijuana prohibition policies?

Kirk Muse
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