Pubdate: Fri, 8 Aug 2003
Source: Detroit News (MI)
Copyright: 2003, The Detroit News
Author:   Mark Lehrer
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


This is in response to Paul Ruschmann's July 29 commentary, "It's time to 
ease nation's laws on marijuana."

Bravo for publishing this article. It makes some excellent points.

The unfortunate truth is that as long as our country respects any level of 
freedom, it will be impossible to end the use of marijuana -- and the cost 
of arresting and imprisoning so many people is worse than the effect of the 
drug itself.

We need to start by looking at the approaches that other countries are 
trying. We also need to start decriminalizing marijuana at the federal 
level -- they should let states deal with small-time users, dealers, and 
medical users as each state sees fit. The current drug war is about as 
popular as the 55 mph speed limit was: we recognize that it is 
well-intentioned, but it is clearly the wrong approach.

Mark Lehrer, Salt Lake City, Utah