Pubdate: Wed, 10 Jul 2013
Source: Irish Times, The (Ireland)
Copyright: 2013 The Irish Times
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: 17


Sir,  Further to Brian O'Connell's article ("Time to clear the air on
cannabis", Health & Family, July 6th), I would like to point out that
if health outcomes determined drug laws instead of Anglo-American
cultural norms, cannabis would be legal.

Unlike alcohol, cannabis has never been shown to cause an overdose
death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Like any
drug, cannabis can be harmful if abused, but jail cells are
inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

Cannabis prohibition has clearly failed as a deterrent. The US now has
higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands where cannabis is
legally available.

The only winners in the war on cannabis are drug gangs and shameless
tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers confusing the drug
war's tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant.

Yours, etc, ROBERT SHARPE, Spencer Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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