Pubdate: Thu, 10 Nov 2005
Source: Hartford Advocate (CT)
Copyright: 2005 New Mass. Media, Inc.
Author: Kirk Muse
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


If tough-on-drugs policies worked, the quixotic goal of a drug free
America [ "War on the War on Drugs," Oct. 20] would have been reached
a long time ago.

And if tolerant drug policies created more drug use, the Netherlands
would have much higher drug usage rates than the United States. They
do not. In fact, the Dutch use marijuana and other recreational drugs
at much lower rates than Americans do. See the web site:

And if tolerant drug policies caused more overall crime, especially
violent crime, the Dutch would have much higher crime rates than the
U. S. They do not. The Dutch murder rate is less than one-third the U.
S. per capita murder rate and their rate of incarceration is about
one-seventh the

U. S. incarceration rate. In the Netherlands, marijuana is sold to
adults without criminal sanctions in coffee shops. In the United
States, marijuana is sold by criminals who often sell other, much more
dangerous drugs, and who often offer free samples of the more
dangerous drugs to their marijuana customers -- thus the gateway effect.

Legalize, regulate, control and tax the sale of marijuana and sell it
in licensed business establishments and we close the gateway to hard
drugs. Re-legalize, regulate, control and tax the sale of all types of
recreational and self-medicating drugs, and we will make the term
"drug-related crime" obsolete.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Arizona
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