Pubdate: Thu, 27 Jul 2006
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2006 News World Communications, Inc.
Author: Bruce Mirken


Terry Michael suggests many reasons to question America's so-called
war on drugs and its peculiar obsession with marijuana, but one seems
particularly obvious: It hasn't worked, most obviously in the case of

The Justice Department's Drug Threat Assessment 2006 reports,
"Marijuana availability is high and stable or increasing slightly"
despite an all-time record number of marijuana arrests -- 771,984 in
2004. Eighty-nine percent of those arrests were for possession -- more
arrests for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined.

The government estimates indicate that before national prohibition of
marijuana in 1937, just about 2 percent of Americans tried the drug by
the time they turned 21. For the past decade, between 40 percent and
50 percent have tried marijuana before graduating from high school.
Put another way, since we banned marijuana, its use by young people
has increased by well over 2,000 percent.

If a policy is intended to stop something, and the thing it's supposed
to stop increases by more than 2,000 percent, reasonable people begin
to question whether the policy is effective.


Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project
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