Pubdate: Thu, 10 Jan 2008
Source: Columbian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2008 The Columbian Publishing Co.
Author: Allan Erickson


Kirk Muse, in his Jan. 2 letter, "Legal pot builds roadblock," 
effectively counters the letter from professional anti-drug advocate 
Sandra S. Bennett. One positive point in Bennett's Dec. 19 letter, 
"Urge prevention education," was in focusing on the need for 
education. But it should be education, not incarceration, that drives 
our efforts against the abuse (as opposed to the use) of cannabis 
(marijuana) and all substances.

Muse points to another nation (the Czech Republic) that does not have 
anywhere near the problems with drugs and drug-related crime as we 
do, and they accomplish it without relying on punitive, 
prohibitionist policies.

Here in the U.S. the primary question to ask is "How effective has 
our prohibition of cannabis been?" Well, in Washington state, the 
value of just the pot seized by law enforcement made cannabis the 
state's No. 8 agricultural crop in 2005.

Prohibition has failed. Unless you are a black market drug dealer, or 
a professional drug war bureaucrat.

Allan Erickson

Eugene, Ore.
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