Medical Use of Cannabis Under Fire, 10/25

Dear Editor, If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms marijuana would be legal. 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 migration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even begin to smoke pot until a soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda. By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California, the very same U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that claims illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of street dealers. Apparently marijuana prohibition is more important than protecting the country from terrorism. Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war otherwise known as the war on some drugs should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at www.ssdp.org. Please feel free to edit and publish. Thank you for your consideration. The following Virginia Law Review article offers a good overview of the cultural roots of marijuana legislation: http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/Library/studies/vlr/vlrtoc.htm For additional historical background please see the Canadian Senate report: http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/ille-e/rep-e/summary-e.pdf Sincerely, Robert Sharpe, MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy www.csdp.org P.O. Box 59181 Washington, DC 20012 703-228-1762Home: 2107 N. Buchanan Ct. Arlington, VA 22207 703-516-4011