Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 2004
Source: Pahrump Valley Times (NV)
Copyright: 2004 Pahrump Valley Times
Author: W. E. Lopez


Anyone who watches television, even occasionally, has probably seen
the commercial: "Sixty-seven percent of teens in Nevada use marijuana,
compared to only 28 percent of teens in the Netherlands." I suspect
the figures quoted represent Nevada teens who have tried marijuana,
and not those who use it regularly. Perhaps I am only giving our youth
credit for not being totally stupid, as well as stoned.

The commercial goes on to report the lower percentage of teen drug use
in the Netherlands is because of "stringent controls and ID checks."
Do drug dealers require any identification other than cash? In the
Netherlands, yes they do, because marijuana is required to be
available by prescription at all Dutch pharmacies and some licensed
coffee houses.

So the real truth of this "Just say no..." commercial is, by
legalizing and controlling marijuana, we can hope to reduce the number
of Nevada teens who purchase the weed.

This is a surprise? After 14 years of prohibition established by the
18th Amendment and repealed by the 21st, our government gave up trying
to stamp out alcohol, realized the only thing they had achieved was to
create a billion-dollar industry for organized crime, and wisely
repealed the 18th Amendment so the government could impose a tax on
the sale and consumption of alcohol, including "stringent controls and
ID checks."

Although the commercial I've mentioned might be a thinly disguised
attempt to promote the legalization of marijuana, it will be quite
some time before any of our "politically correct, check the winds of
public opinion," legislators introduce laws similar to those in the

I do not endorse or recommend the legalization of mind-altering drugs,
but I'm pragmatic enough to understand that, just like alcohol and
prostitution, perhaps placing these activities under legal control
might be the more sensible policy.

W. E. Lopez

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