Pubdate: Tue, 29 May 2012
Source: Aspen Times, The  (CO)
Copyright: 2012 Aspen Times
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor:

Regarding your May 25 editorial ("Does the county love Mary Jane?"), 
if health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, 
marijuana would be fully 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, but jail cells are 
inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican 
migration during the early 1900s despite opposition from the American 
Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal 
rages have been counterproductive. 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. 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
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom