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News (Media Awareness Project) - US MD: PUB LTE: America's Misguided War On Marijuana
Title:US MD: PUB LTE: America's Misguided War On Marijuana
Published On:2012-01-01
Source:Baltimore Sun (MD)
Fetched On:2012-01-03 06:00:43
AMERICA'S MISGUIDED WAR ON MARIJUANA

The drug war is largely a war on people who smoke marijuana. In 2010,
there were 853,839 marijuana arrests in the United States, almost 90
percent of them for simple possession. At a time when state and local
governments are laying off police, firefighters and teachers, this
country continues to spend enormous public resources criminalizing
marijuana, even though the law enforcement model clearly isn't working.

The U.S. has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands,
where marijuana is legally available. Decriminalization is a long
overdue step. Taxing and regulating marijuana would render the drug
war obsolete. As long as organized crime controls distribution,
marijuana consumers will come into contact with sellers of hard drugs
like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct
result of marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe

The writer is a policy analyst for the advocacy group Common Sense
for Drug Policy in Washington.
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