Pubdate: Wed, 17 Apr 2013
Source: Progress-Index, The (VA)
Copyright: The Progress-Index 2013
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: A4


To the Editor:

The use of so-called synthetic marijuana is an unintended side-effect 
of the war on natural marijuana. Consumers are turning to potentially 
toxic drugs made in China and sold as research chemicals before being 
repackaged as legal incense.

Expanding the drug war will only add to the highest incarceration 
rate in the world. Chinese chemists will tweak formulas to stay one 
step ahead of the law and two steps ahead of the drug tests. New 
versions won't be safer. Misguided efforts to protect children from 
drugs are putting children at risk

A better solution is to legalize organic marijuana. Unlike alcohol, 
marijuana has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does 
it share the addictive properties of tobacco. Taxing and regulating 
marijuana would eliminate the demand for synthetic marijuana, provide 
consumers with a comparatively safe alternative to alcohol, and close 
the gateway to hard drugs by taking marijuana distribution out of the 
hands of violent drug cartels. Marijuana may be relatively harmless, 
but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

Robert Sharpe Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom