Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica
I AM writing about your thoughtful editorial, 'Mexico's marijuana decision' (April 30, 2006).
The Czech Republic is the only nation in the world where adult citizens can legally use, possess and grow small quantities of marijuana. (In the Netherlands, marijuana is quasi-legal, not officially legal.)
The Czech overall drug arrest rate is one per 100,000 population. The United States' overall drug arrest rate is 585 per 100,000 population. The Czech robbery rate is two per 100,000 population. The U.S. robbery rate is 145.9 per 100,000 population, according to our 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 legalisation actually creates a roadblock to hard drug use - not a gateway?