Pubdate: Sun, 20 Jul 2008
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2008 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Bruce Mirken


Bill Steigerwald sounded an appropriately skeptical note regarding
the 35th anniversary of the DEA.

There is no more spectacular example of wasted government resources
than America's war on marijuana.  Just like Prohibition of alcohol in
the 1920s,  marijuana prohibition has utterly failed to stem access 
to or use of marijuana, despite 830,000 marijuana  arrests in 2006. An
even bigger question is, why do we  do it?

By any measurable standard, marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol
- -- less addictive, far less toxic and less  likely to induce violence
or aggression.

Yes, it's a psychoactive drug and needs reasonable controls, like the
controls we impose on alcohol. But that's the real irony: Prohibition
guarantees that  America's largest cash crop, marijuana, is produced
and  sold exclusively by unregulated criminals operating  under no
rules whatsoever.

If you think marijuana is bad, why would you want it completely

Bruce Mirken

Washington, D.C.

The writer is director of communications of the  Marijuana Policy
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin