Pubdate: Tue, 05 Aug 2014
Source: Cape Times (South Africa)
Copyright: 2014 Cape Times
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: 8


THE DAYS when politicians can get away with confusing the drug war's
tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant are
coming to an end. If the goal of cannabis prohibition is to subsidise
violent drug cartels, prohibition is a success.

The drug war distorts supply and demand so that big money grows on
little trees.

If the goal is deterrence, cannabis prohibition is a clear failure.
Consider the experience of the former land of the free and current
record-holder in citizens incarcerated.

The US has almost double the proportional rate of cannabis use as the
Netherlands, where marijuana has been legally available for decades.

The global criminalisation of citizens who prefer marijuana to
martinis has no basis in science. The war on cannabis consumers is a
failed cultural inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign.

In South Africa and the world over, it's time to stop the pointless
arrests and instead tax legal cannabis.

Robert Sharpe, MPA Policy analyst: Common Sense for Drug Policy
Washington DC
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