Pubdate: Thu, 8 May 2008
Source: Daily Aztec, The (San Diego State, CA Edu)
Copyright: 2008 The Daily Aztec
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about Holly Wells' "USA: Land of the imprisoned" that
printed on May 1.

Imagine if the United States was once again the "Land of the Free"
instead of the most incarcerated nation in the history of human
civilization. Imagine if the American people could feel safe and
secure in their own homes and on the streets of our cities throughout
America. Imagine if we had no "drug-related crime." Imagine if our
overall crime rate was a small fraction of our current crime rate.

We once had such a situation here in the United States. Prior to the
passage of the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914, the term "drug-related
crime" didn't exist. And drug lords, drug cartels or even drug dealers
as we know them today, didn't exist either.

Back then, all types of recreational drugs were legally sold to
anybody, with no questions asked, for pennies per dose in grocery
stores and pharmacies. Back then, the United States was actually a
free country. Back then, adult citizens could decide for themselves
what substances went into their own bodies in the privacy of their own

For the sake of our children, can we re-legalize our now illegal drugs
and sell them in licensed business establishments? This would put the
drug dealers and drug lords out of business overnight.

And the term "Land of the Free" would actually mean what it

If tough-on-drugs policies worked, the idealistic goal of a drug-free
America would have been reached a long time ago.

And if tolerant marijuana policies caused more hard drug use and
crime, the Czech Republic would have much higher rates of hard drug
use and crime.

They do not.

The Czech Republic is the only country in the world where adult
citizens can legally use, purchase, 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, such as meth and heroin.

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

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?

Kirk Muse, Mesa, AZ resident 
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