Pubdate: Thu, 6 Jan 2011
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2011 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: Neill Franklin


The Dec. 31 article "California No. 1 in pot admissions" (Nation)
doesn't mention the fact that more than half of the people seeking
treatment for marijuana abuse in the United States are sent there by
the criminal justice system. While your story makes it seem that
there's a huge epidemic of people checking themselves into treatment
for marijuana abuse, the fact is that many of them are only signing up
for treatment because, after being arrested, it is their only option
for staying out of jail.

As a former police officer, I would never claim marijuana is harmless.
But it's alarming that we spend so much money on arresting so many
people every year for marijuana only to send many of them to treatment
they don't need. In the meantime, there aren't enough treatment spaces
for people struggling with more dangerous substance-abuse issues. What
we should do is legalize and regulate marijuana and use the tax
revenue to fund drug-treatment programs for people who truly need them.

Neill Franklin

Executive director

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

White Hall, Md.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake