Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jan 2014
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2014 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.
Author: Carl Williams


Sheriffs and others upset over President Obama's recent comparison of 
marijuana and alcohol use sound like stranded Japanese soldiers who 
never heard that World War II ended ("Sheriffs cheer pot shot," Jan. 25).

The drug war has failed, and it's immoral to keep fighting it. The 
decades-long drug war hasn't even dented rates of marijuana use or 
availability. That means it makes no sense to aggressively prosecute 
nonviolent cases involving this drug. That approach has wasted 
billions of dollars and has been carried out with stark racial bias. 
Last year, the ACLU found that African-Americans in Massachusetts get 
arrested for marijuana use nearly four times more often than whites, 
even though they use marijuana at the same rate. Also, decades of 
research have proven conclusively that the physical and psychological 
effects of marijuana use are less harmful than alcohol.

Obama's comparison makes sense. Just as we ended Prohibition, we 
should end the war on drugs. Prosecutors and police might miss the 
drug war's funding, but the fight serves no public interest.

- - Carl Williams, staff attorney, ACLU of Massachusetts
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