Pubdate: Wed, 14 Mar 2007
Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
Copyright: 2007 The Providence Journal Company
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Dr. Kenneth Mayer's thoughtful March 6 column, "Research
proves effectiveness of medical marijuana use:" If health outcomes
determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, marijuana would be
legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause death
by overdose, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco.

Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail cells are inappropriate
as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents. The first
marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican migration during
the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical

Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been
counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even begin to smoke
pot until a soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding
"reefer madness" propaganda. By raiding voter-approved
medical-marijuana providers in California, the very same Bush
administration that claims illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing
cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of street dealers.

Apparently marijuana prohibition is more important than protecting the
country from terrorism.

Robert Sharpe


The writer is policy analyst for Common Sense for Drug Policy.
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