Getting Busted For Drugs Has Long-Lasting Effects

To the editors:



There is a good reason Harvard doesn’t make busting marijuana smokers a priority (“Harvard Rarely Punishes Student Drug Use,” news, Nov. 14). Most students outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving illicit drugs. An arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be life shattering. After admitting to smoking pot (but not inhaling), former President Bill Clinton opened himself up to “soft on drugs” criticism. While youthful indiscretions didn’t stop Clinton from assuming leadership positions, an arrest surely would have. The short-term effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to the long-term effects of criminal records.



ROBERT SHARPE

Washington, D.C.

November 15, 2005



The writer is a policy analyst for Common Sense Drug Policy.