Pubdate: Sat, 04 Aug 2001
Source: East Anglian Daily Times (UK)
Copyright: 2001 Eastern Counties Newspapers Group Ltd
Author: Robert Sharpe



There is a big difference between condoning cannabis use and protecting 
children from drugs.

Decriminalisation acknowledges the social reality of cannabis use, and 
frees users from the stigma of life-shattering criminal records.

What's really needed is a regulated market with age controls.

The thriving black market has no age controls, making it easier for kids to 
buy cannabis than beer.

Although cannabis is relatively harmless compared to most legal drugs - the 
plant has never been shown to cause an overdose death - cannabis 
prohibition is deadly.

Illegal cannabis provides the black market contacts that introduce youth to 
addictive drugs like heroin. Current drug policy is a gateway policy.

Like alcohol prohibition once did in the United States. cannabis 
prohibition effectively subsidises organised crime, while failing miserably 
at preventing use.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, replacing cannabis prohibition with 
regulation would do a better job in protecting children than the 
never-ending drug war.

ROBERT SHARPE, M.P.A.. Program officer, The Lindesmith Cente- Drug Policy 
Foundation, Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Ave, Washington,DC, United States 
of America.
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