Pubdate: Tue, 14 Feb 2006
Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen (IA)
Copyright: 2006 Iowa City Press-Citizen
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek has good reason to question the wisdom 
of zero tolerance marijuana laws ("White responds to marijuana 
ideas," Feb. 10). The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future 
Study reports that lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the U.S. 
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, 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. The big losers in this battle are the 
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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