Pubdate: Mon, 15 Oct 2007
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Copyright: 2007 West Hawaii Today
Author: Kirk Muse


Legalizing Drug Would Cut Meth Use

I'm writing about Kelly Greenwell's outstanding letter, "Marijuana," 
published Oct. 8 in West Hawaii Today.

I submit that the vast majority of drug users would use only 
marijuana if it were available at an affordable price. But it is not 
available at an affordable price. During the early 1970s, marijuana 
sold for $10 to $20 an ounce. Now, it sells for up to $300 an ounce.

Today's price of marijuana is the result of the "prohibition tax" 
that goes to organized criminals -- the government gets nothing.

If beer drinkers cannot get any beer, they switch to another type of 
alcoholic beverage.

If a marijuana user cannot obtain marijuana at an affordable price, 
many switch to other drugs -- like meth. And because marijuana is 
illegal, it is sold only by criminals. Criminals who often sell other 
drugs -- like meth. And their marijuana suppliers often give out free 
samples of other drugs -- like meth.

Thus the so-called "gateway effect."

If marijuana were legally available in licensed business 
establishments like tobacco and alcohol, our meth problem would be a 
tiny fraction of what it is today.

Our counterproductive drug policies have made the least toxic drug 
the most expensive, and the most toxic drug, the least expensive.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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