Pubdate: Tue, 29 Jul 2014
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2014 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Editorial Series
Note: Fourth of five letters


To the Editor:

Thank you for your editorial calling for a repeal of marijuana
prohibition. The marijuana plant is incapable of causing an overdose
death. Not even aspirin can make the same claim, much less alcohol or
prescription narcotics. Marijuana prohibition, on the other hand, has
caused untold deaths in the form of violent drug cartel turf battles
and botched "no knock" police raids on residential homes.

Marijuana can be harmful if abused. Marijuana prohibition does not
make the plant any safer. In fact, it compounds the dangers of
marijuana by granting a monopoly on marijuana distribution to drug
cartels that sell meth, cocaine and heroin. Marijuana prohibition is a
gateway drug policy. It's time for Congress to stop confusing the
drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively
harmless plant.

ROBERT SHARPE Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington,
July 28, 2014
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