Pubdate: Thu, 27 Oct 2005
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2005 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Steve Fox


Re: "'No' for Denver pot initiative," Oct. 25 editorial endorsement.

In its editorial, The Post said, "Colorado and the nation need to have
realistic debate about decriminalizing marijuana, but ballot
initiative I-100 in Denver doesn't contribute much to that
discussion." In fact, the Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation
(SAFER) campaign is the first major addition to the national marijuana
debate in years.

There are two substances in this country widely used for recreational
purposes - marijuana and alcohol. Despite the fact that every
government study ever done has concluded that marijuana is safer -
both for the user and society - it remains the illegal drug. This
creates a tremendous incentive for people to use alcohol instead of
marijuana. Making marijuana legal for adults would undoubtedly result
in some people using marijuana instead of alcohol.

With alcohol causing about 85,000 deaths (source: American Medical
Association) and factoring in more than 3 million violent incidents
each year (source: U.S. Department of Justice), it is a "preposterous
assertion" - to use The Post's words - to say this should not be part
of the debate over marijuana policy.

Steve Fox, Potomac, Md.

The writer is former director of government affairs for the Marijuana 
Policy Project. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake