Pubdate: Tue, 21 Mar 2006
Source: Casper Star-Tribune (WY)
Copyright: 2006 Casper Star-Tribune
Author: Kirk Muse



I'm writing about Bruce Mirken's thoughtful guest column, "Censoring
medical marijuana information helps no one" (March 12).

In order to properly evaluate our nation's drug policies, we need to
compare and contrast our drug policies with those of another nation
with substantially different drug policies. I suggest that we use the
Czech Republic for our comparison.

In the Czech Republic, citizens can legally use, possess, grow or
purchase small quantities of marijuana.

In the United States, many otherwise law abiding citizens, are locked
in prison cages for possessing, growing or selling various amounts of

The Czech overall drug arrest rate is one per 100,000 population. The
U.S. overall drug arrest rate is 585 per 100,000 population. The Czech
robbery rate is two per 100,000 population. The U.S. robbery rate is
145.9 per 100,000 population, according to the FBI.

According to our drug war cheerleaders, tolerant marijuana laws cause
people to use other, much more dangerous drugs like meth and heroin.

Obviously, this doesn't happen in the Czech Republic. Why

Could it be that when people can legally obtain marijuana at an
affordable price, they tend not to use or desire any other
recreational drugs?

Could it be that marijuana legalization actually creates a roadblock
to hard drug use -- not a gateway?


Mesa, Ariz.
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