Pubdate: Sun, 09 Nov 2008
Source: Cyprus Mail, The (Cyprus)
Copyright: Cyprus Mail 2008
Author: Robert Sharpe



Regarding your well-researched October 26 editorial, here in the
United States, police searches on public transit, drug-sniffing dogs
in schools, and random drug testing have led to a loss of civil
liberties, while failing miserably at preventing drug use.

The drug war is in large part a war on cannabis, by far the most
popular illicit drug. The University of Michigan's 'Monitoring the
Future' survey reports that lifetime use of cannabis is higher in the
US than any European country, yet America is one of the few Western
countries that use its criminal justice system to punish citizens who
prefer marijuana to martinis.

Unlike alcohol, cannabis has never been shown to cause an overdose
death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. The
short-term health consequences of cannabis are inconsequential
compared to the long-term effects of criminal records.

Unfortunately, cannabis represents the counterculture to misguided
reactionaries intent on legislating their version of morality. Despite
clear evidence that draconian laws fail to deter use, the former land
of the free and current record holder in citizens incarcerated uses
its superpower status to export a dangerous moral crusade around the

The results of a comparative study of European and US rates of drug
use can be found at:

United Nations stats:

Cyprus should Just Say No to the American Inquisition.

Robert Sharpe, MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy

Arlington, Virginia, USA
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