Pubdate: Thu, 09 Feb 2012
Source: Auburn Plainsman, The (Auburn U, AL Edu)
Copyright: 2012 The Auburn Plainsman
Author: Robert Sharpe


If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, 
marijuana would be legal and there would be no medical marijuana debate.

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 U.S. 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.

Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war, 
otherwise known as the war on some drugs, should contact Students for 
Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe

MPA analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
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