Pubdate: Wed, 20 Nov 2002
Source: Crimson White, The (Edu, Univ of Alabama)
Copyright: 2002 The Crimson White.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Loretta Nall of the Alabama Marijuana Party is to be commended for boldly 
speaking out against the war on some drugs. 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 United States 
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.

The big losers in this battle are the American taxpayers who have been 
deluded into believing big government is the appropriate response to 
non-traditional consensual vices. Students interested in helping reform 
drug laws should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at

Robert Sharpe

Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance
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