Pubdate: Wed, 20 Feb 2008
Source: Arizona Range News (Willcox, AZ)
Copyright: 2008 Arizona Range News
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about Robert Sharpe's thoughtful letter: "Encouraging
change" (Feb. 13).

Suppose another country had almost no drug problem. Suppose that
country had less than a small fraction of one percent of our drug
arrests. And suppose that country had almost no "drug-related crime"
and suppose that their robbery rate was a tiny fraction of our robbery

Do you think is might be wise to carefully observe that other
country's drug policy and that we should model their drug policy?

Well, there is such a country: The Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic is the only country in the world where adult
citizens can legally use, possess and grow small quantities of
marijuana. (In the Netherlands, marijuana is quasi-legal - not
officially legal.)

The Czech overall drug arrest rate is 1 per 100,000 population. The
United States' overall drug arrest rate is 585 per 100,000 population.

The Czech robbery rate is 2 per 100,000 population. The United States'
robbery rate is 160.2 per 100,000 population, according to our FBI.

According to our drug war cheerleaders, tolerant marijuana 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 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?

Could it be that the vast majority our so-called "drug-related crime"
is caused by our marijuana prohibition policies?

Could it be that if we keep doing what we have been doing, we will
probably get the same results? Should we throw another trillion
dollars down the drug war rat hole? Or should we do something
different--dramatically different?

Kirk Muse

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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake