Pubdate: Tue, 2 Sep 2010
Source: Salt Lake City Weekly (UT)
Copyright: 2010 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


The drug war is largely a war on marijuana smokers ["Pot Not,"
Opinion, Aug. 26, City Weekly]. In 2008, there were 847,863 marijuana
arrests in the United States, almost 90 percent for simple possession.
At a time when 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

The United States 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 distribution, marijuana consumers will come into
contact with sellers of hard drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and
heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Arlington, Va. 
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