Pubdate: Sun, 07 Sep 2014
Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL)
Copyright: 2014 Tallahassee Democrat
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: "Not all officers are opposing medical marijuana" (My View, Sept. 3).

Regarding Ray Strack's My View, 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. Like any drug, marijuana can be 
harmful if abused.

Criminal records are nonetheless 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 at best. Americans did 
not begin to smoke marijuana in significant numbers until after our 
federal government began funding reefer madness junk science.

Marijuana prohibition has failed miserably 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 violent drug cartels and shameless 
tough-on-drugs politicians who have built careers confusing the drug 
war's tremendous collateral damage with a comparatively harmless plant.


Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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