Pubdate: Thu, 30 Sep 2011 Source: Bradenton Herald (FL) Copyright: 2011 Bradenton Herald Contact: http://www.bradenton.com/contact_us/feedback/ Website: http://www.bradenton.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/58 Author: Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy FLORIDA WELFARE DRUG TESTS EXPAND BIG GOVERNMENT Regarding Carl Hiaasen's Sep. 27 column, Gov. Rick Scott's crusade to drug-test welfare applicants is an expansion of big government for the sake of a culture war. The most commonly abused drug and the one most closely associated with violent behavior isn't included in drug tests. That drug is legal alcohol, and it takes far more lives each year than all illegal drugs combined. The war on some drugs has given the land of the free the highest incarceration rate in the world, while failing miserably at preventing illicit drug use. Despite the big government approach, the U.S. has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. Unlike alcohol, marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of tobacco. If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, marijuana would be legal. This country can no longer afford to subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors like Gov. Scott. Robert Sharpe Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.