Pubdate: Sat, 03 Dec 2011
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Copyright: 2011 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


The steady rise in drug-sniffing dogs in schools, warrantless police 
searches, and random drug testing have led to a loss of civil 
liberties in America while failing miserably to prevent drug use.

Based on findings that criminal records are inappropriate as health 
interventions and ineffective as deterrents, a majority of European 
Union countries have decriminalized marijuana. Despite marijuana 
prohibition, lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the United States 
than any European country.

The drug war threatens the integrity of a country founded on the 
concept of limited government. It's not possible to wage a moralistic 
war against consensual vices unless privacy is eliminated, along with 
the U.S. Constitution. America can either be a free country or a 
"drug-free" country, but not both.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Arlington, Va.
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