Pubdate: Thu, 16 Dec 2004
Source: Los Angeles City Beat (CA)
Copyright: 2004 Southland Publishing
Author: Robert Sharpe


If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms,
marijuana would be legal. [Re: "Feds vs. Meds," Dec. 9.] 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 very same U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that 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 from terrorism.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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