Pubdate: Thu, 18 Oct 2007
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2007 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Kirk Muse


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 1 per 100,000 population. The
U.S. overall drug-arrest rate is 585 per 100,000 population. The Czech
robbery rate is 2 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 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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