Pubdate: Fri, 06 Dec 2002
Source: Big Sandy News, The (KY)
Copyright: 2002 The Big Sandy News
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Title by MAP editor



In his thoughtful Nov. 29th column, Scott Perry explains the proliferation 
of illicit drug dealing in Kentucky by noting the "drug business offers 
much greater returns than minimum wage jobs." The drug war is in large part 
a war against marijuana. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to 
cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of 
Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail cells and criminal records are 
hardly ideal health interventions.

Unfortunately, marijuana represents the counterculture to misguided 
reactionaries intent on legislating their version of morality. In 
subsidizing the prejudices of culture warriors our 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.

Marijuana is arguably Kentucky's number one cash crop. The only clear 
winners in the war on some drugs are drug dealers 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. Punitive marijuana laws 
have little, if any, deterrent value.

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. This 
country cannot afford to continue subsidizing the prejudices of culture 

The results of a comparative study of European and U.S. rates of drug use 
can be found at:

*MTF is funded by the U.S. government

Robert Sharpe, M.P.A.

Program Officer Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, DC 20005
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MAP posted-by: Alex