Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jul 2012
Source: Brattleboro Reformer (VT)
Copyright: 2012 Brattleboro Publishing Co.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Editor of the Reformer:

Regarding your July 13 editorial, the use of synthetic marijuana is 
an unintended side-effect of the war on natural marijuana. Consumers 
are turning to potentially toxic drugs made in China and sold as 
research chemicals before being repackaged as legal incense. 
Expanding the drug war will do little other than add to what is 
already the highest incarceration rate in the world. Chinese chemists 
will tweak formulas to stay one step ahead of the law and two steps 
ahead of the drug tests. New versions won't be safer. Misguided 
efforts to protect children from drugs are putting children at risk.

A better solution is to legalize natural marijuana. Unlike alcohol, 
marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does 
it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Taxing and regulating 
marijuana would eliminate the demand for synthetic marijuana, provide 
consumers with a comparatively safe alternative to alcohol, and close 
the gateway to hard drugs by taking marijuana distribution out of the 
hands of violent drug cartels. Marijuana may be relatively harmless, 
but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom