Pubdate: Thu, 08 Feb 2007
Source: Equinox, The (NH Edu)
Copyright: 2007 The Equinox
Author: Robert Sharpe


Ben Conant is to be commended for raising awareness of the racist
roots of marijuana prohibition in his Jan. 31st op-ed. 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

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 migration during
the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical
Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages
have been counter productive 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. Students who
want to help end the intergenerational culture war otherwise known as
the war on some drugs should contact: Students for Sensible Drug
Policy at

The following Virginia Law Review article offers a good overview of
the cultural roots of marijuana legislation:

For additional historical background please see the Canadian Senate

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington D.C. 
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