Pubdate: Sat, 04 Dec 2004
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2004 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Robert Sharpe


IF HEALTH outcomes instead of cultural norms determined drug laws,
marijuana would be legal ("Pot for patients," editorial, Nov. 30).
Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose
death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco.
Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate
as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

The first marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican migration
during the early 1900s despite opposition from the American Medical
Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages
have been counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even
begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched government
bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda.

By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California,
the US Drug Enforcement Administration, which claims illicit drug use
funds terrorism, is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of
street dealers. Apparently marijuana prohibition is more important
than protecting the country.

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

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