Pubdate: Mon, 24 Oct 2005
Source: Lantern, The (OH Edu)
Copyright: 2005 The Lantern
Author: Robert Sharpe


To the Editor:

Regarding Chris Planer's thoughtful Oct. 17th column, the drug war is
in large part of a war on marijuana, by far the most popular illicit
drug. Marijuana prohibition has done little other than burden millions
of otherwise law-abiding citizens with criminal records. The
University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Study reports that
lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the United States than any
European country, yet America is one of the few Western countries that
uses its criminal justice system to punish citizens who prefer
marijuana to martinis.

The short-term health effects of marijuana are inconsequential
compared to the long-term effects of criminal records. Unfortunately,
marijuana represents the counterculture to many Americans. In
subsidizing the prejudices of culture warriors, government is
subsidizing organized crime.

The drug war's distortion of immutable laws of supply and demand make
an easily grown weed literally worth its weight in gold. The only
clear winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and shameless
tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers on confusing drug
prohibition's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant. The
big losers in this battle are the American taxpayers who have been
deluded into believing big government is the appropriate response to
non-traditional consensual vices.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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