Pubdate: Wed, 26 Sep 2007
Source: Daily Forty-Niner (Cal State Long Beach, CA Edu)
Copyright: 2007 Daily Forty-Niner
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about Robert Sharpe's thoughtful letter "Reefer policy out
of whack" in the Sept. 20 issue of the Daily Forty-Niner. I'd like to
add that if tough-on-drugs policies worked, the idealistic goal of a
drug-free America would have been reached a long time ago.

And if tolerant drug policies created more drug use, the Netherlands
would have much higher drug usage rates than the United States. They
do not. In fact, the Dutch use marijuana and other recreational drugs
at much lower rates than Americans do.

And if tolerant drug policies caused more overall crime, especially
violent crime, the Dutch would have much higher crime rates than the
U. S. They do not. The Dutch murder rate is less than one-third the U.
S. per capita murder rate and their rate of incarceration is about
one-seventh the U. S. incarceration rate.

In the Netherlands, marijuana is sold to adults without criminal
sanctions in coffee shops. In the United States, marijuana is sold by
criminals who often sell other, much more dangerous drugs, and who
often offer free samples of the more dangerous drugs to their
marijuana customers - thus the creating the gateway effect.

Legalize, regulate and control the sale of marijuana and we close the
gateway. Re-legalize all types of recreational drugs and sell them in
licensed business establishments like we do with alcohol and tobacco
products and the term "drug-related crime" will become as obsolete as
buggy whips.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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