Pubdate: Wed, 25 Jan 2012
Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Copyright: 2012 C.E.G.W./Times-Shamrock
Author: Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy


The drug war is largely a war on marijuana smokers. In 2010, there
were 853,839 marijuana arrests in the United States, almost 90 percent
for simple possession. At a time when state and local governments are
laying off police, firefighters and teachers, this country continues
to spend enormous public resources criminalizing Americans who prefer
marijuana to martinis. The end result of this ongoing culture war is
not necessarily lower rates of use.

The United States has higher rates of marijuana use than the
Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. Decriminalization
is a long overdue step in the right direction. Taxing and regulating
marijuana would render the drug war obsolete. As long as organized
crime controls distribution, marijuana consumers will come into
contact with sellers of hard drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and
heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C. 
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