Pubdate: Thu, 06 Mar 2003
Source: Independent  (UK)
Copyright: 2003 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Sir: Johann Hari characterises the United Nations International Narcotic
Control Board (INCB) as "a puppet of the United States" (Opinion, 27
February).  There is a good reason why the INCB opposes the downgrading of
cannabis in  Britain; drug warrior jobs are at stake.  As more and more
nations abandon the US model, the abject failure of cannabis prohibition is
increasingly apparent.

Consider the experience of the former land of the free and current record
holder in citizens incarcerated. Police searches on public transit,
drug-sniffing dogs in schools and random drug testing have led to a loss of
civil liberties in the United States, while failing miserably at preventing
cannabis  use.

Unlike alcohol, cannabis has never been shown to cause an overdose death,
nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Cannabis can be
harmful if abused, but jail cells are hardly appropriate health
interventions.  Unfortunately, cannabis represents the counterculture to
misguided reactionaries  intent on legislating their version of morality.
Britain should "just say no" to this American inquisition.

Program Officer
Drug Policy Alliance
Washington DC
- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh