Pubdate: Thu, 24 May 2007
Source: Rocky Mountain Chronicle (Fort Collins, CO)
Copyright: 2007 Rocky Mountain Chronicle
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: "Stoned -- again -- in court," May 17, news: 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. Like any drug,
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 did not 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 states with
compassionate-use laws, the very 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

Washington, D.C.

Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy