Pubdate: Thu, 26 Feb 2004
Source: Herald, The (UK)
Copyright: 2004 The Herald
Author: Robert Sharpe


Tony Blair's adaptation of George "Orwell" Bush's punitive nanny state
may do more harm than good. Drug-testing may compel users of cannabis
to switch to harder synthetic drugs to avoid testing positive. Despite
a short-lived high, organic cannabis is the only illegal drug that
stays in the human body long enough to make urinalysis a deterrent. If
you think students don't know this, think again. Anyone capable of
running an internet search can find out how to thwart a drug test. The
drug war is in large part a war on cannabis, by far the most popular
illicit drug. Despite clear evidence that punitive laws fail to deter
use, the former land of the free and current record holder in citizens
incarcerated continues to uses its superpower status to export its
failed policies around the globe. The University of Michigan's
Monitoring the Future Study reports that lifetime use of cannabis is
higher in the US than any European country, yet the US is one of the
few western countries that continues to use its criminal-justice
system to punish citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis. The
short-term health effects of cannabis are inconsequential compared
with the long-term effects of criminal records. Unfortunately,
cannabis represents the counterculture to misguided reactionaries
intent on legislating their version of morality. Britain should Just
Say No to the American inquisition.

Robert Sharpe

policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC USA.
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