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US PA: PUB LTE: Save Money On Prisons And Police, With One Simple


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URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n347/a08.html

Newshawk: http://www.drugwarfacts.org

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Thu, 18 Jul 2013

Source: Patriot-News, The (PA)

Copyright: 2013 The Patriot-News

Contact: http://www.pennlive.com/mailforms/patriotletters/

Website: http://www.pennlive.com/patriotnews/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1630

Author: Robert Sharpe

Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n336/a06.html




Regarding Matt Zencey's July 13 column, ( "Legalize marijuana in Pa.? Before you laugh, consider this" ), the drug war is largely a war on marijuana smokers.  In 2011, there were 757,969 marijuana arrests in the United States, almost 90 percent for simple possession.  At a time when state and local governments are laying off police, firefighters and teachers, this country continues to waste public resources criminalizing Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis.


The end result of this ongoing culture war is not lower rates of use.  The U.S.  has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available.


Decriminalization is a step in the right direction.  Legalizing marijuana would render the drug war obsolete.  As long as drug cartels control marijuana distribution, consumers will come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.  Marijuana prohibition is a gateway drug policy.


ROBERT SHARPE, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C. 

MAP posted-by: Matt


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