Pubdate: Mon, 26 Mar 2001
Source: Otago Daily Times (New Zealand)
Copyright: Allied Press Limited, 2001
Contact:  P.O. Box 181, 52-66 Lower Stuart Street, Dunedin, New Zealand
Author: S. McIntyre
Note: Headline supplied by newshawk


"HEAR, HEAR" for Fred Fastier's comments on the failure of cannabis 
prohibition ( ODT , 13.3.01). Significantly, here is a man who 27 years ago 
recommended prohibition "only as long as this can be shown to be largely 
effective", yet who now realises that it "has been unsuccessful, so we must 
tackle the situation accordingly". To achieve the control it has "lost", 
our Government needs to fully regulate the production and supply of 
cannabis. This will reduce the price of cannabis significantly, providing 
no incentive for gangs to trade. The sale of cannabis to minors will be 
outlawed with licensed suppliers requiring proof of age to buy. Huge sums 
of money will be diverted away from ineffective policing to more effective 
drug education and rehabilitation.

Make no mistake: I don't want to see high-school-age kids (or younger) 
smoking cannabis. Twenty years ago when I was a student it was uncommon to 
come across dope at school - buying it was very difficult. Nowadays, I have 
teenage nephews and nieces, and quite frankly the regularity and ease with 
which they come in contact with it (not to mention the starting age) is 
breathtaking. Prohibition, rather than discouraging our kids from taking 
drugs, only makes it easier for them.

S. McIntyre

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