Pubdate: Sun, 21 Jun 2009
Source: Waco Tribune-Herald (TX)
Copyright: 2009 Waco-Tribune Herald
Author: Robert Sharpe


Trib Sunday columnist Ted Nugent makes the common mistake of assuming
that punitive drug laws actually reduce use. The drug war is in large
part a war on marijuana, by far the most popular illicit drug.

The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Study reports that
lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the United States than in any
European country, yet America is one of the few Western countries that
still criminalizes those citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis.
The short-term health effects of marijuana are inconsequential
compared to the long-term effects of criminal records.

Unfortunately, marijuana represents counterculture to many Americans.
In subsidizing the prejudices of culture warriors, government is
subsidizing organized crime. The drug war's distortion of immutable
laws of supply and demand causes big money to grow on little trees.

The only clear winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and
shameless, tough-on-drugs politicians who have built careers confusing
drug prohibition's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant.
The big losers in this battle are taxpayers who have been deluded into
believing big government is the appropriate response to
non-traditional consensual vices.

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake