Pubdate: Wed, 4 Jun 2008
Source: Idaho Mountain Express (ID)
Copyright: 2008 Express Publishing, Inc
Author: Robert Sharpe


Hailey voters may not be able to skirt marijuana laws, but they can
voice their opposition to them. 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 federal 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.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.