Pubdate: Thu, 02 Feb 2006
Source: Salt Lake City Weekly (UT)
Copyright: 2006 Copperfield Publishing
Author: Bruce Mirken


The bizarrely long prison sentence given to Weldon Angelos ["Mangled
Sentence," Note From the Editor, Jan. 26, City Weekly] might make some
sense if there were the slightest evidence that the federal war on
marijuana was having its intended effect.

There isn't. Despite a record 771,605 marijuana arrests in
2004--roughly equal to arresting every man, woman and child in the
state of Wyoming, plus every man, woman and child in Salt Lake City
and Provo combined--the latest U.S. Justice Department "Drug Threat
Assessment" reports no evidence of decreased marijuana availability
anywhere in the country. But doesn't prohibition keep marijuana away
from kids? Well, no. According to the 2005 Monitoring the Future
survey, released in December and funded by the U.S. government, 85.6
percent of high school seniors report that marijuana is "easy to get."
Despite many millions of marijuana arrests, that figure is virtually
unchanged from the first "Monitoring the Future" survey in 1975. It
has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing
over and over again and expecting a different result.

If so, marijuana prohibition is a prime example.

It's time to junk our failed experiment with prohibition and replace
it with a common-sense system of regulation and control.

Bruce Mirken, Marijuana Policy Project, San Francisco, Calif.
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