Pubdate: Fri, 10 May 2013
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2013 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Monday's At Issue column on marijuana possession, Rep. 
Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, should consider that organic 
marijuana and so-called synthetic marijuana are different things.

Synthetic marijuana is an unintended side effect of the war on 
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 only add to 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 drug tests. New versions 
won't be safer. A better solution is to legalize organic marijuana.

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 drug cartels. Marijuana 
may be relatively harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

- -- Robert Sharpe, Washington, D.C., policy analyst, Common Sense for 
Drug Policy (
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