Pubdate: Fri, 15 Jun 2007
Source: Greensboro News & Record (NC)
Copyright: 2007 Greensboro News & Record, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


The following is a Counterpoint:

By Robert Sharpe

Regarding your June 7 editorial, marijuana is an easily grown weed.
Pot would be virtually worthless if legal.

Former UNCG student Stephen Cobb getting shot in the back during a
robbery attempt is a direct consequence of marijuana prohibition. Note
that marijuana prohibition does not necessarily deter use. The
University of Michigan's "Monitoring the Future Study" reports that
lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the United States than any
European country, yet America is one of the few Western countries that
uses its criminal-justice system to punish citizens who prefer
marijuana to martinis.

Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose
death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. The
short-term health effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to
the long-term effects of criminal records. Unfortunately, marijuana
represents the counterculture to many Americans. In subsidizing the
prejudices of culture warriors, government is subsidizing organized

The drug war's distortion of immutable laws of supply and demand make
an easily grown weed literally worth its weight in gold. The only
clear winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and shameless
tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers on confusing drug
prohibition's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant. The
big losers in this battle are the taxpayers who have been deluded into
believing big government is the appropriate response to nontraditional
consensual vices.

(The results of a comparative study of European and U.S. rates of drug
use can be found at: )

The writer is policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy,
Washington, D.C 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake