Pubdate: Sat, 05 Nov 2011
Source: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)
Copyright: 2011 Newark Morning Ledger Co
Author: Elizabeth Thompson


In "A doctor's case for legal pot" (Oct. 30), Tom Moran discusses the 
failure of marijuana prohibition and presents an excellent argument 
for the removal of criminal penalties for its use.

Nearly 50 percent of Americans have tried marijuana at some point in 
their lives. The overwhelming majority of those use it casually, 
inflict absolutely no harm in the process and never progress to 
addiction or the use of serious drugs. In fact, less than 10 percent 
of those who try marijuana will ever develop a substance abuse disorder.

Despite this reality, we continue spending huge amounts of time and 
money pursuing policies that needlessly criminalize almost half our citizenry.

Jimmy Carter once said, "Penalties against drug use should not be 
more damaging to an individual than the use of a drug itself." Is 
prohibition really worth the billions of taxpayer dollars, sizable 
law enforcement resources and wasted lives that it commands?

Elizabeth Thompson, Policy associate, Drug Policy Alliance in Trenton
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