Pubdate: Fri, 06 Sep 2002
Source: Orange County Weekly (CA)
Copyright: 2002, O.C. Weekly Media, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


What exactly is the point of the seemingly never-ending persecution of 
medical-marijuana activist Marvin Chavez (Matt Coker's A Clockwork Orange, 
Aug. 30)? The 48-year-old Santa Ana resident originally got six years for 
providing medical marijuana to undercover cops who used a fake doctor's 
note. A cop commits fraud, and Chavez, guilty of compassion, is sentenced 
to prison.

If punitive marijuana laws are intended to deter use, they've failed 
miserably at doing so. The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future 
study reports that lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the U.S. than any 
European country. Yet America is one of the few Western countries that uses 
its criminal-justice system to destroy the lives of citizens who prefer 
marijuana to martinis-or who use it as medicine. The only clear winners in 
the war on some drugs are drug cartels and shameless tough-on-drugs 
politicians. The big losers are American taxpayers.

Robert Sharpe

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
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