Pubdate: Mon, 1 Sep 2008
Source: Northern Express (MI)
Copyright: 2008 Northern Express
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Robert Downes' Aug. 4 column "An End to Reefer Madness," if
health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms,
marijuana would be legal. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been
shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive
properties of tobacco. Like any drug, 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 immigration during the early 1900s, despite
opposition from the American Medical Association. 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 federal bureaucracy began funding reefer madness
propaganda. By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in
California, the very same U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that
claims illicit drug use finances 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, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C. 
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