Pubdate: Thu, 3 Jun 2010
Source: Sacramento News & Review (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re "Political or pot ads" by Jeff vonKaenel (SN&R Greenlight, May

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. Marijuana can be harmful if abused, but jail
cells are inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective as

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.

Marijuana prohibition has failed miserably as a deterrent. The United
States has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where
marijuana is legally available to adults over 18. The only clear
winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and shameless
tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers confusing the drug
war's collateral damage with a relatively harmless plant.

Robert Sharpe

policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy
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