Pubdate: Mon, 19 Nov 2007
Source: Metrowest Daily News (MA)
Copyright: 2007 MetroWest Daily News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding the article "Common Sense and Marijuana Policy" (Daily 
News, Nov. 7), if health outcomes determined drug laws instead of 
cultural norms, marijuana would be legal.

Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose 
death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. 
Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate 
as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican 
immigration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the 
American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires 
homicidal rages have been counterproductive at best. White Americans 
did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched 
government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda.

By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California, 
the very same U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that claims 
illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients 
into the hands of street dealers. Apparently marijuana prohibition is 
more important than protecting the country from terrorism.

The following Virginia Law Review article offers a good overview of 
the cultural roots of marijuana legislation: brary/studies/vlr/vlrtoc.htm.

ROBERT SHARPE, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.
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