Pubdate: Mon, 24 Jul 2006
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune (CA)
Copyright: 2006 San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Regarding your July 4 editorial on marijuana cultivation in national parks:

The drug war is in large part a war on marijuana, by far the most 
popular illicit drug. Punitive marijuana laws have little, if any, 
deterrent value.

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.

Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose 
death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. 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 
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 have 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

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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