Pubdate: Wed, 18 Jul 2007
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2007 Asbury Park Press
Author: Peter Christopher


Clearly the worst aspect of marijuana use is getting caught. 
Columnist Kathleen Parker in her July 8 missive "Ending war on 
marijuana would save U.S. billions" is on spot.

America needs to get a grip on the "War on Some Drugs" if we are ever 
to bring peace to our streets and close the gap of disrespect between 
law enforcement and citizens. The current plan does not work, no 
matter how many prisons are built or the amount of money spent. We 
need harm-reduction methods and we need to follow the advice of past 
commissions formed to study drugs in society.

Since the 1970s, there have been more than a dozen drug policy 
commissions. None recommended full legalization of drugs or viewed 
any drug, including marijuana, as harmless. None called for a war on 
drugs, on users or on addiction. Rather, all of the commissions 
recommended gentle, humane approaches to dealing with drug users and abusers.

Policy makers haven't listened to all those drug commissions loaded 
with prominent judges, politicians and corporate executives. If you 
can call it representation, the drug user was represented by special 
interests. No real voice from that population was considered. Will we 
continue more of the same policies based on the needs of special 
interests or the needs of people? Surely in a world of legal alcohol 
and tobacco products, there is room for marijuana regulation.

Peter Christopher

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