Alcohol More Harmful Than Marijuana

RECEIVED Tue., March 14, 2006

Dear Editor,
    On the streets, we know the truth: Alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals are definitely more harmful, both to the user and to society, than marijuana, and it does not make sense to punish an individual more harshly for using the
   less harmful substance.
    Alcohol use makes domestic violence eight times more likely ... marijuana use does not. This is based on a 2003 study by addiction researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
    Drinking by college students, ages 18 to 24, contributes to an estimated 1,400 student deaths, 500,000 injuries, and 70,000 cases of sexual assaults or date rapes each year, according to a 2002 study commissioned by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Task Force on College Drinking.
    Many in enforcement have been wounded or killed in the violence triggered by the drug war. In recent history, Austin, Texas, police shot Daniel Rocha in the back! Witnesses say he was on the ground defenseless. Daniel smoked
   marijuana sometime in the last month before he died. In Sunrise, Fla., police seized two ounces of marijuana at the home of Anthony Diotaiuto after shooting him 10 times. This is insanity.
    Leaders responsible for the current quagmire will have to answer to a higher power for their crimes against humanity. It's time to end the terror by changing our intrusive, big-bully policies, both foreign and domestic. The monetary costs are staggering and the human suffering unconscionable.
Colleen Minter
aka Bonnie Colleen McCool
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