Source: Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY)
Pubdate: 10 Sep 1998
Author: Jonathan von Linden

NORML doesn't advocate pot use, just prohibition

I would like to correct an impression left by Brian Nearing's Sept. 3 news
story, in which he stated that I was an advocate of marijuana use.

Neither I nor the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
have ever advocated the use of marijuana; rather, we support the ending of
prohibition, which has caused more problems for our society than marijuana
ever could.

Study after study, including a recent report by the U.N.'s World Health
Organization that was suppressed by the federal government, have concluded
that marijuana does little harm either to the people who use it or to the
society in which they live. Compare this to the results of prohibition,
which continues to fill our prisons with non-violent offenders, while
reducing personal rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and
Bill of Rights.

In a country that allows adults to choose to use alcohol and tobacco, it is
insane to persecute marijuana users, especially when in many cases they
face penalties that are more severe than those for violent crimes such as
rape and manslaughter.

Any objective review of prohibition based on cost vs. effectiveness must
conclude that prohibition is a flawed, failed policy. It is time to explore
new solutions.


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Checked-by: Pat Dolan