Pubdate: Mon, 21 May 2007
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Copyright: 2007 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Author: Robert Sharpe


First we read about drug tests for teachers, now we hear that
drug-sniffing dogs will patrol Lahainaluna High School. The "police
state" approach to public health problems like substance abuse will
certainly make for an interesting class discussion when the Bill of
Rights is covered. But will it affect rates of use?

Based on findings that criminal records are inappropriate as health
interventions, a majority of European Union countries have
decriminalized marijuana. Despite marijuana prohibition and perhaps
because of forbidden fruit appeal, lifetime use of marijuana is higher
in the United States than any European country.

The drug war threatens the integrity of a country founded on the
concept of limited government. It's not possible to wage a moralistic
war against consensual vices unless privacy is eliminated, along with
the Constitution. America can either be a free country or a
"drug-free" country, but not both.

Robert Sharpe,

Policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy,

Washington, D.C.
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