Pubdate: Tue, 02 Aug 2011
Source: Reporter, The (Vacaville, CA)
Copyright: 2011 The Reporter
Author: Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy


If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms,
marijuana would be legal and there would be no debate over
dispensaries ("Dispensary rules are sensible," July 26 editorial).

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 United
States has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where
marijuana is legally available to adults.

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.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.