Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2006
Source: Press & Sun Bulletin (NY)
Copyright: 2006 Press & Sun Bulletin
Author: Sam Erlichman
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Broome County Sheriff David Harder says that his top priority will be 
fighting drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and 
marijuana. But it is unfair and dangerous to group marijuana with 
these other, much more deadly, substances.

For starters, marijuana is not physically addictive. No one in the 
world's long history of marijuana use has ever died from an overdose. 
Indeed, the physical and psychological effects from marijuana are far 
less powerful than the effects of alcohol. Adults who want to use 
marijuana legally and responsibly should be allowed to do so.

By continuing the policy of marijuana prohibition, we fund a violent 
criminal underworld. Moreover, gangsters who sell pot do not care to 
whom they sell. That is why high schoolers consistently say it is 
easier for them to acquire pot than it is to get alcohol.

The right approach is to regulate and tax marijuana, so that it can 
be sold to adults in special stores - just as we do with alcohol. 
This will help keep pot off the streets and away from kids, deprive 
criminals of a major source of income, and will free up precious 
law-enforcement resources to tackle serious crimes.

Sam Erlichman

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