Pubdate: Thu, 23 Mar 2006
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)
Copyright: 2006 Columbia Daily Tribune
Author: Kirk Muse
Note: Prints the street address of LTE writers.


Editor, the Tribune:

I'm writing about a March 5 article, "Student group drums up opposition to
drug war."

It seems to me that to evaluate our nation's drug policies, we need to
compare our drug policies with those of another nation with very
substantially different drug policies. In the Czech Republic, citizens
can legally grow and possess small quantities of marijuana.

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

Our drug war cheerleaders say tolerant marijuana laws cause people to
use other, much more dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin.

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

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.
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