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Pot vs. Booze: A Former Police Chief's Take

Marijuana smokers show greater responsibility in their choice of drugs than those of us who choose (and abuse) alcohol.

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All of which begs the question. If one of these two drugs is implicated in dire health effects, high mortality rates, and physical violence -- and the other is not -- what are we to make of our nation's marijuana laws? Or alcohol laws, for that matter.

Anybody out there want to launch a campaign for the re-prohibition of alcohol? Didn't think so. The answer, of course, is responsible drinking. Marijuana smokers, for their part, have already shown (apart from that little matter known as the law) greater responsibility in their choice of drugs than those of us who choose alcohol.

Norm Stamper is former chief of the Seattle Police Department, and an advisory board member of NORML and Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). He is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing (Nation Books, 2005).