Pubdate: Wed, 07 May 2014
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2014 Miami Herald Media Co.
Author: Robert Sharpe


The United States=C3=A2=C2=80=C2=99 drug war is largely a war on marijuan
a smokers.
In 2012, there were 749,825 marijuana arrests in the United States,
almost 90 percent for simple possession.

At a time when a majority of Americans want to see marijuana
legalized, this country continues to spend enormous public resources
criminalizing citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis. The result of
this unpopular culture war is not lower rates of marijuana use.

The United States has higher rates of marijuana use than the
Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. Taxing and
regulating marijuana would render the drug war obsolete.

As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers
will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.

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