Pubdate: Tue, 02 Oct 2007
Source: Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, CA)
Copyright: 2007 Daily Pilot
Author: Kirk Muse


Thanks for publishing federal Judge James P. Gray's outstanding
opinion ("Current drug policies inefficient," Sept. 30).

It seems to me that in order to properly evaluate our nation's drug
policies, we need to compare and contrast our drug policies with those
of another nation with substantially different drug policies. I
suggest that we use the Czech Republic for our comparison.

In the Czech Republic, citizens can legally use, possess, grow, or
purchase small quantities of marijuana.

In the United States, many otherwise law-abiding citizens are locked
in prison cages for possessing, growing or selling various amounts of

The Czech overall drug arrest rate is one 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 like meth and heroin.

Obviously, this doesn't happen in the Czech Republic. Why

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

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