Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jul 2013
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2013 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor: Regarding Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's 
July 6 column, the use of so-called 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 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 the drug tests. New versions won't be 
any safer. Misguided efforts to protect children from drugs are 
putting children at risk.

A better solution is to legalize organic 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

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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