Pubdate: Tue, 28 Jan 2014
Source: Milford Daily News, The (MA)
Copyright: 2014 The Milford Daily News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: "The medicine in marijuana," Jan. 26:

If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms,
marijuana would be fully 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 if abused, 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 proven counterproductive. Americans did not even
begin to smoke pot in significant numbers until after our federal
government began funding reefer madness propaganda.

Marijuana prohibition has clearly 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've built careers confusing the drug war's tremendous collateral
damage with a comparatively harmless plant.

Robert Sharpe

Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC
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