Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 2009
Source: Hattiesburg American (MS)
Copyright: 2009 Hattiesburg American
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding the Feb. 16 column by Kathleen Parker:

The U.S. has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where
marijuana is legally available to adults older than 18. This abject
failure is not for lack of trying.

There were 872,720 marijuana arrests in 2007, the vast majority for
simple possession. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to
cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of
tobacco. As an admitted former pot smoker, President Obama no doubt
knows that marijuana is comparatively harmless.

So will Obama bring change to marijuana laws? There is a strong public
health rationale for doing so. Marijuana prohibition opens a gateway
to hard drugs. As long as organized crime controls distribution,
marijuana consumers will continue to come into contact with
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.  Marijuana may be relatively
harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

July 2008 WHO survey comparing rates of drug use of 17 countries:

A comparative analysis of U.S. vs. European rates of drug use can be
found at:, MTF is
funded with U.S. government grants

United Nations stats:

Comparative analysis of U.S. vs. Dutch rates of drug use:

Marijuana arrests rates:

Robert Sharpe Policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin