Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 2009
Source: Bremerton Patriot, The (WA)
Copyright: 2009 Bremerton Patriot
Author: Robert Sharpe


The drug war is largely a war on marijuana smokers.

In 2008, there were 847,863 marijuana arrests in the U.S., almost 90
percent for simple possession.

At a time when state and local governments are laying off police,
firefighters and teachers, this country continues to spend enormous
public resources criminalizing Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis.

The end result of this ongoing culture war is not necessarily lower
rates of use. The U.S. has higher rates of marijuana use than the
Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. Decriminalization
is a long overdue step in the right direction. Taxing and regulating
marijuana would render the drug war obsolete.

As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers
will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like
cocaine and meth. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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