Saturday, July 11, 2009

Marijuana: Treat Addiction as Public Health Issue

Birmingham News

Marijuana: Treat addiction as public-health issue

I read with great interest the recent article "The marijuana debate." I found it curious that all of the professional experts who spoke out against legalizing and regulating marijuana earn their living off of the war on drugs. Since half of those arrested in Alabama on drug charges are arrested for marijuana offenses, if it were legalized, we might need the drug warriors only half as much.

These "experts" told a slew of lies and half-truths they cannot back up. I was particularly offended by Jason Murray's comments about Europe. He said: "Amsterdam has more addicts living on the street than any other city in Europe or the world. It is a massive draw on their society over there."

In my experience, European cities, including Amsterdam, can't hold a candle to Washington, Atlanta and even Birmingham when it comes to indigent, drug-addicted people living on the streets.

Prohibition and prisons don't cure addiction. Many countries around the world realize this and are taking on addiction as a public-health issue, not a law enforcement issue. How enlightened!

John Jenkins

Not sure how this letter wound up in the BHAM News. The article it was responding to was in the Talladega Daily Home. No matter, its a great letter. Thank you John Jenkins!

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