'Reefer madness' theory won't die

February 27, 1997|By Henry Cohen

THE FEB. 14 editorial, ''Legislating from the hip,'' opposes an increase in the penalties for marijuana possession but seems to favor continuing to imprison users, reassuring us that ''even the most liberal politicians recognize that drug use, including marijuana use, is not a victimless crime but contributes significantly to domestic violence, street violence, property crime, child abuse and traffic deaths.''

In fact, no politicians ''recognize'' this. One cannot recognize something that is false. One can only, in one's ignorance or willful blindness, imagine it. Marijuana does not make one violent and is not sufficiently addictive or expensive to cause users to commit crimes to buy it. Is "reefer madness" ever going to end?

Those drugs that are sufficiently addictive and costly to contribute to street crime and property crime are expensive, and lead to such crime only because they are illegal. Anyone who cares about crime must favor repeal of the drug laws.

Henry Cohen

Baltimore

Pub Date: 2/27/97

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