Pubdate: Sun, 07 Jan 2007
Source: Juneau Empire (AK)
Copyright: 2007 Southeastern Newspaper Corp
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about the Voice of the Times outstanding editorial: 
"Think outside the box, decriminalize marijuana" (Jan. 1).

There is only one country in the world where marijuana is officially 
legal for adults to grow and possess small quantities: the Czech 
Republic. (In the Netherlands marijuana is quasi legal - not officially legal.)

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 two 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 such as 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?

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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