Pubdate: Mon, 24 Mar 2003
Source: Amarillo Globe-News (TX)
Copyright: 2003 Amarillo Globe-News
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (ONDCP Media Campaign)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)


The drug-terror ads revisited in Allen Finegold's thoughtful March 14 
column premiered amid beer commercials during the Super Bowl. International 
terrorists have unfortunately caught on to something gangster Al Capone 
learned in the 1920s during alcohol prohibition. There are enormous profits 
to be made on the black market. With drug war budgets at risk during a time 
of shifting national priorities, drug warriors are cynically using drug 
prohibition's collateral damage to justify more of the same.

The illicit drug of choice in America is domestically grown marijuana, not 
Afghan heroin or Colombian cocaine. The drug czar's sensationalist 
terrorism ads may lead Americans to mistakenly conclude that marijuana 
smokers are somehow responsible for 9/11. That's likely no accident. Taxing 
and regulating marijuana would render the drug war obsolete. As long as 
marijuana remains illegal and distributed by organized crime, consumers 
will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. 
For obvious reasons, government bureaucrats whose jobs depend on a 
never-ending drug war prefer to blame the plant itself for the alleged 
"gateway" to hard drugs.

Robert Sharpe, Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, D.C.
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