Pubdate: Sun, 01 Mar 2009
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Robert Sharpe


Olympian Michael Phelps is in good company. The list of athletes
caught using marijuana is long. Could it be that drug warriors have
been lying about marijuana's health impact? They've definitely been
lying about the deterrent value of marijuana prohibition.

The United States has higher rates of marijuana use than the
Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available to adults over 18.
Marijuana prohibition is built on lies, beginning with the reefer
madness myths of the 1930s and continuing to this day with government
anti-drug propaganda masquerading as science. As an admitted former
pot smoker, President Obama no doubt knows the truth about marijuana.
Truthfully, marijuana is easily the least harmful recreational drug,
legal or otherwise. If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of
cultural norms, marijuana would be legal.

Yes, marijuana can be harmful if abused, but criminal records are
inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as deterrents.
The question is, will Obama bring change or will he continue to
subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors?

Robert Sharpe

Arlington, VA
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