Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jul 2009
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2009 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Ken Garcia's July 21 column: 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 rage 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.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.
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