Pubdate: Wed, 10 Nov 2010
Source: Volante, The (U of SD, Edu SD)
Copyright: 2010 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Thomas Emanuel's Oct. 27 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.
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 as a deterrent. The U.S.
has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where
marijuana is legally available to adults. For comparative analysis
U.S. and Dutch rates of drug usage go to or United
Nations drug statistics at

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

Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war,
otherwise known as the war on some drugs, should contact Students for
Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe Common Sense for Drug Policy Arlington, Va.  
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