Pubdate: Wed, 26 Jan 2005
Source: Good 5 Cent Cigar (U of  RI: Edu)
Copyright: 2005 Good 5 Cent Cigar
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Youth)


- - To the Cigar,

Marijuana possession does indeed have consequences, hence Students for 
Sensible Drug Policy's efforts to reform harmful marijuana laws. If health 
outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms marijuana would be 
legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose 
death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Marijuana can 
be harmful if abused, but criminal records are inappropriate as health 
interventions are ineffective as deterrents. 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, the U.S. 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. Students 
who want to help end the intergenerational culture war otherwise known as 
the war on some drugs should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at

Sincerely, Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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