Pubdate: Thu, 31 Oct 2002
Source: Auburn Plainsman, The (AL Edu)
Copyright: 2002 The Auburn Plainsman
Author: Robert Sharpe
Cited: Students for Sensible Drug Policy


Editor, The Auburn Plainsman:

Kudos to Karen Johnson for an excellent Oct. 24 column on the Canadian 
Senate's groundbreaking report on marijuana. After months of research, the 
Senate recently concluded that marijuana is relatively benign, marijuana 
prohibition contributes to organized crime and law enforcement efforts have 
little impact on patterns of use. America's punitive marijuana laws have 
done little other than burden millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens 
with criminal records.

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 punish citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis. Unlike 
alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor 
does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. The short-term health 
effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to the long-term effects 
of criminal records. Unfortunately, marijuana represents the counterculture 
to misguided reactionaries in Congress intent on legislating their version 
of morality. In subsidizing the prejudices of culture warriors, the U.S. 
government is inadvertently subsidizing organized crime.

The drug war's distortion of immutable laws of supply and demand make an 
easily grown weed literally worth its weight in gold. The only clear 
winners in the war on some drugs are drug cartels and shameless 
tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers on confusing drug 
prohibition's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant. Students 
interested in drug policy reform should contact Students for Sensible Drug 
Policy at

Robert Sharpe

Program Officer

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington D.C.
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