ABCNEWS.com : Is It Time

ABCNEWS.com : Is It Time to End the War on Drugs? [Daypop Top 40]

There’s no question that drugs often wreck lives. But the drug war wrecks lives too, creates crime and costs billions of dollars.

Is there an alternative? Much of Europe now says there is.

In Amsterdam, using marijuana is legal. Holland now has hundreds of “coffee shops” where marijuana is officially tolerated. Clients pick up small amounts of marijuana the same way they would pick up a bottle of wine at the store.

The police regulate marijuana sales ÷ shops may sell no more than about five joints worth per person, they’re not allowed to sell to minors, and no hard drugs are allowed.

What has been the result of legalizing marijuana? Is everyone getting stoned? No. In America today 38 percent of adolescents have smoked pot ÷ in Holland, it’s only 20 percent.

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