Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 2009
Source: Central Kitsap Reporter (US WA)
Address: 9989 Silverdale Way N.W., Suite 109, Silverdale, Wa., 98383
Fax: (360)308-9363
Copyright: 2010 Central Kitsap Reporter
Author: Robert Sharpe

Marijuana Legalization


The drug war is largely a war on marijuana smokers.

In 2008, there were 847,863 marijuana arrests in the U.S., almost 90 
percent for simple possession.

At a time when state and local governments are laying off police, 
firefighters and teachers, this country continues to spend enormous 
public resources criminalizing Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis.

The end result of this ongoing culture war is not necessarily lower 
rates of use. The U.S. has higher rates of marijuana use than the 
Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. Decriminalization 
is a long overdue step in the right direction. Taxing and regulating 
marijuana would render the drug war obsolete.

As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers 
will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like 
cocaine and meth. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC

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