Pubdate: Thu, 14 Feb 2008
Source: Oxford Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2008 Newsquest Media Group
Author: Kirk Muse


In response to Matt Wilkinson's story, Drugs debate (Oxford Mail, 
Janury 31), to evaluate your nation's drug policies, you need to 
compare and contrast the drug policies of other nations.

I suggest that you use the United States and the Czech Republic for 
your comparison.

In the Czech Republic, citizens can legally use, possess, grow, or 
purchase small quantities of cannabis.

In the United States, many otherwise law-abiding citizens are locked 
in prison cages for possessing, growing or selling various amounts of cannabis.

The Czech drug arrest rate is one per 100,000 population.

The US drug arrest rate is 585 per 100,000 population.

The Czech robbery rate is two per 100,000 population. The US robbery 
rate is 160.2 per 100,000 population, according to the FBI.

According to our drug war cheerleaders, tolerant cannabis laws cause 
people to use other, much more dangerous drugs like methamphetamine and heroin.

Obviously, this doesn't happen in the Czech Republic. Why not?

Could it be that when people can legally obtain cannabis at an 
affordable price, they tend not to use or desire any other recreational drugs?

Could it be that cannabis legalisation creates a roadblock to hard 
drug use, not a gateway?

Kirk Muse,

Mesa, Arizona, USA
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