Pubdate: Thu, 02 Aug 2007
Source: Los Angeles City Beat (CA)
Copyright: 2007 Southland Publishing
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about Bruce Mirken's thoughtful letter ["Stay on the
Grass," July 26]. It was recently reported by the United Nations
Office of Drugs and Crime that 12.6 percent of all Americans between
the ages of 15 and 64 used pot at least once in 2005. In the
Netherlands where marijuana is quasi-legal for adults, only 6.1
percent of all Dutch between the same ages used marijuana at least
once in the year 2005.

Most drug war cheerleaders proclaim that if marijuana were
re-legalized, pot use would skyrocket. I believe that the Netherlands
example shows that this probably would not happen.

But suppose that pot use did increase. Suppose pot use by adults
doubled. Would this necessarily be bad? I submit that it would not. As
pot use increases, alcohol use declines.

Most frequent marijuana users don't drink alcohol. But those who do
drink alcohol, drink substantially less than non-marijuana users. I
believe that most doctors would agree that heavy marijuana use is a
lot less harmful than heavy alcohol use. Heavy alcohol use can and
does kill. No amount of marijuana use has ever killed anyone.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Arizona
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