Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Robert Sharpe


If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, 
marijuana would be legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been 
shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive 
properties of tobacco. Like any drug, marijuana can be harmful if 
abused, but jail cells are inappropriate as health interventions and 
ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican 
immigration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the 
American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires 
homicidal rages have been counterproductive at best. White Americans 
did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched federal 
bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda.

Marijuana prohibition has failed miserably. The U.S. has higher rates 
of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally 
available to adults over 18.

The only clear winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and 
shameless tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers confusing 
drug prohibition's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant.

Robert Sharpe

Arlington, Va.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake