Pubdate: Wed, 12 Dec 2007
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2007 The Union
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about the on-target letter "Time to legalize pot" in the
Oct. 25 edition of The Union.

It seems to me that 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 marijuana.

The Czech overall drug arrest rate is 1 in 100,000 people. The U.S.
overall drug arrest rate is 585 in 100,000. The Czech robbery rate is
2 in 100,000. The U. S. robbery rate is 160.2 in 100,000, according to
the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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 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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