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A Czech toke on things

Dear Editor:I’m writing about Christopher Brod’s thoughtful letter, “Legalize it” (Feb. 17).In the Czech Republic, citizens can legally grow and possess small quantities of marijuana. The Czech overall drug arrest rate is 1 per 100,000 population. The U.S. overall drug arrest rate is 585 per 100,000 population. The Czech robbery rate is 2 per 100,000 population. The U.S. robbery rate is 145.9 per 100,000 population, according to the FBI.According to our drug war cheerleaders, tolerant marijuana laws cause people to use other, much more dangerous drugs like meth and heroin. Obviously, this doesn’t happen in the Czech Republic. Why not? Could it be that when people can legally obtain marijuana at an affordable price, they tend not to use or desire any other recreational drugs?Could it be that marijuana legalization actually creates a roadblock to hard-drug use – not a gateway?(Source for the 145.9 robberies per 100,000 population is from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 2002 final statistics. Source for Czech Republic marijuana legalization policy: “A Czech toke on freedom” by Jeffrey Fleishman in the L.A. Times, Jan. 24, 2006: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-weed24jan24,0,7449540.story). Kirk MuseMesa, Ariz.


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