Friday, December 14, 2012

"Why Amsterdam is banning marijuana use in schools"

That is a headline from the Christian Science Monitor. The irony in the subsequent lead-in is missed too: "The Dutch are getting tough on smoking pot: On Jan. 1, weed-smoking will be banned from schools and playgrounds in Amsterdam."

Amsterdam is the pot-head's mecca. Tolerance has led to the situation where "Amsterdam's mayor said Wednesday he would formally ban students from smoking marijuana at school, making the Dutch capital the first city in the Netherlands to do so."

Is this what the United States is trying to emulate?

Please - don't tell me the crime rates are lower in Amsterdam because of this tolerance. The use of coincidental crime statistics is invalid. And it may be risky path, e.g., the homicide rate (2009 data) in Amsterdam is 4.4 per 100,000 people. Moscow is 4.6, New York City is 5.6.  Maybe if we are going to emulate a country - why not Tokyo at .04.  [Where are world's deadliest major cities?].

Can one really use these statistics to prove a crime and pot usage connection? An attempt without more causation factors results in fallacious reasoning.  And should crime rate be the benchmark in any case? Does anyone really believe that drug use of any kind promotes good citizenship?

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