busted: america's war on marijuana


Given the facts in in the program and facts that can be gleaned from research, marijuana laws do far more harm than good, causing an increase in value thereby causing the profitability of those who choose to go into the drug trade, causing turf wars and the needs to get more and more children to become future customers. That added to the fact that most marijuana users are non-violent, no known overdose of the drug equal an overwhelming case to legalize and regulate and tax the drug.

Mike Barnes


Why don't we go after alcohol with the same agressiveness...Having volunteered in local crisis centers and alcohol and drug rehabs, alcohol is by far the more aggressive drug...Ruining more lives families and costing society more money than all the drugs combined....I guess the politicians need a flag to wave....How many of them drink to excess????? Like other things we do in this country, I think we've about beaten this horse to death....Time to change the politics of marijuana....

Frank DeCoster
Alton, NH


One area that was not discussed or referred to in tonight's documentary was the comparative effects between alcohol and marijuana. It was pointed out that marijuana does not have the same effect as cocaine or heroin, on a user's violent behavior, the drug's addictive characteristics and the danger of lethal overdose from the substance. No mention was made of the fact that alcohol often causes violent behavior, is potentially lethal and is both physically and mentally addictive, whereas marijuana has none of these qualities.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


I feel laws should be more flexible. Also in retrospect the scare tactic films shown to me in elementry school all be their outdated scenes peaked my curiousity later in life & encoureged my own experimentation for better or worse

Charles Johnson
Scottsburg, IN


Due to the police state that America is obviously becoming I do not feel free to leave any name or e-mail adress. the Frontline show "Busted" makes me want to find a country where freedom is still important. Your show should have concentrated much more on the "business" of marijuana law enforcement. Re.: the DARE programs. Why do we use non professional educators in public schools to teach about drugs. The reason is that DARE is a growing industry that feeds an every increasing need for Police to build their own empires. You should have concentrated more on the confiscation aspect of arrests. The police can then build a bigger empire, buy more "toys" i.e. vehicles, helicopters,night vision scopes, assault rifles, heat scanners, etc. this country is now all about money, power and building "empires" and the police have become experts at building empires and the whole war on marijuana is the best example yet. the most powerful drug is the ability to dictate how others should live and act when their activities hurt no one. Maybe it's time to consider emigrating to canada where they keep their politics and police state in check. God this show was upsetting to a libertarian leaning person like myself. Like jack Nicholson's character in Easy Rider said "this used to be a great country".

Bill Hanshee


I hate to see our tax money going to create more misery for people. The fact is that Germany, Switzerland, and Holland allow you to grow your own marijuana. These are the strongest economies in the world.

Jim Schwartz
New York, New York


I am firmly against my tax dollars being spent to further imprison petty crimes involving marijuana. Alcohol? Tobacco? Can we not see through this and realize that the criminalization is merely a political issue and not an issue of health or welfare of our citizens.

Louisville, Kentucky


I think our prison space should be reserved for violent criminals. When I hear about a rapist getting back into our neighborhoods before somenone that has smoked a joint or maybe smoked a joint that he grew I wonder....

Who made this decision? and

Why is this happening?

Joe Collins
toledo, ohio


I always thought that frontline gave both sides of the story, but on this issue I thought it was very biased. They show gave the message that marijuana is a bad drug that will kill you. George Washington grew and smoked marijuana and he is known as the father of America. It is a great stress releaver and can calm one down. So please, so the positive sides of marijuana, dont just the penalties.

Brandon Bondie
Cincinnati, OH


Good show, I think it is great that someone gives the whole story rather than a story just showing the good sides of the drug war. Your show just goes to show that the government does not care about the peoples voice, i.e. California and Arizona. It is apparant that they blame the drug problem on everyone but themselves. Drugs have a correlation with a much larger problem. The war on drugs will never work just like prohibition never worked. The government needs to listen to the people and look at the benefits of marijuana. They need to put there ego aside and realize that what they have been telling the American public; that the drug war is working, is not working and look for another plan. Thanks again for a great program. I have never really watched PBS before, but if programs showing both sides of the story keep airing you have a new viewer.

Otis Noland


I was a drug user and like many parents with teenage chidren I want them to be protected from marijuana and all of it's bad effects. I just have a comment on what is wrong in this nation. "my daughter who will be eighteen this year is now a marijuana smoker and sees nothing wrong with it. As she was growing up she saw her mother and father smoke it. Her father died of lekemia eight years ago and I have to go on and tell her that I am in no place to judge her but when she hits bottom as I had I pray she will have enough sense to quit for good."

Iris Yanez


I think our country is becoming TOO concerned with what people are doing privately in their own homes..Another 'Reefer Madness'..

It is total propaganda with the government wanting to control our lives..I feel it has to do with major industries not wanting the competition of another possible medicinal drug, and the tobacco/alcohol industry not wanting any other recreational substance cutting into their profits..

Lori K


The current laws pertaining to personal Marijuana use and production for personal use in the United States are ludicrous and unjust.

I am not some drugged out fanatic. I am a highly successful 42 year old attorney. In many respects, my desire to become an attorney stemmed from the obvious injustice and hysterical misinformation perpetuated by the government in the 60's regarding marijuana and other drugs and social attitudes.

On the one hand, most of my peers and I used marijuana socially and recreationally with no ill effects, amotivational syndrome, sexual dysfunction, etc. of my 7 best friends in high school, all stoners I might add, 5 of us have either M.D. or J.D. degrees and the other two are now successful businessmen in their own right TODAY - we were the Captains of the basketball team, the president of the student Council, national merit scholars and valedictorian back then on the other hand was the hysteria perpetuated by the very people who most benefit from keeping marijuana illegal - the government and their partners in crime, law enforcement.

Even today, marijuana is the safest, least offensive "illegal" drug I can think of to relieve stress, increase appetite, alleviate some forms of impotence, etc.

The only problem with Marijuana is that is it ILLEGAL. No deaths have EVER been attributed to Marijuana unlike Alcohol and Tobacco - one of which was prohibited by the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for 5,437 days and other is ABOUT to be prohibited or taxed into oblivion.

In the law there are two basic categories of offenses - mala in se - acts which are wrong in themselves - and mala prohibita - acts which are MADE wrong by statute. Marijuana usage is prohibited, not wrong in itself. No one will ever convince me otherwise.

I for one am sick of the government telling me what I can and cannot put in my body. A recent scan of my kitchen pantry and my medicine cabinet have me convinced that even the substances I ingest to live are now under strict government control. Thomas Jefferson is rolling over in his grave.

Every American citizen should be allowed to grow 10 plants per adult resident of the household for personal consumption without prohibition. At worst, it should be relegalized, taxed with the proceeds going DIRECTLY to drug and alcohol treatment centers, and allow each individual adult to make HIS or HER own decision about usage. In countries where this has actually been tried - actual drug use and abuse DECLINED.

This single act would shut down a multi billion dollar cash crop industry and allow the termination of 25-30% of ALL law enforcement officers, thus reducing ALL of our tax burdens.

Let's get on with the process of initiating rational debate. I am sick of the hysteria and the intrusion. When are we going to learn that we cannot legislate morality or biology.

Wayne Daniels


Senator Orin Hatch needs to do more research in the pot culture. Make the penalty fit the crime. More resources need to be put to use on the hard drugs like cocaine and herion where the real problem lies.

Andy Coulter
Maryville, TN


Private use and cultivation of Marijuana should not be a criminal act. The law enforcement agencies in this country should look for and arrest REAL criminals. Not tax paying citizens who use and cultivate marijuana for their personal use.



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