Pubdate: Thu, 20 Dec 2012
Source: Telegraph, The (Nashua, NH)
Copyright: 2012 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your Dec. 17 editorial ("NH should legalize medical
marijuana"), if health outcomes determined drug laws instead of
cultural norms, marijuana would be legal and there would be no medical
marijuana debate.

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, but jail cells are inappropriate as health
interventions and ineffective as deterrents.

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. White Americans did not begin to smoke pot until a
soon-to-be entrenched federal bureaucracy began funding reefer madness

Marijuana prohibition has failed as a deterrent. The United States has
higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is
legally available.

The only winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and
shameless tough-on-drugs politicians who have built careers confusing
the drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a plant.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C. 
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