Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jan 2008
Source: Columbian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2008 The Columbian Publishing Co.
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing regarding Sandra S. Bennett's Dec. 19 letter, "Urge
prevention education." 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, such as the Czech Republic.

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 marijuana. 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 160.2 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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