Pubdate: Fri, 05 Nov 2004
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: The Windsor Star 2004
Author: Kevin Killough
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I would like to thank K. Basden for the letter concerning the use of
marijuana by minors. This growing problem receives far less attention
than it deserves.

Basden, though, claims the police need to do more if we are to stop
kids from smoking pot. In other words, the solution to our children's
drug use is to throw more of them in jail, as if the incarceration of
children is the solution to anything.

What Basden fails to realize is that while marijuana use by kids is
rampant, alcohol use is quite rare. Why aren't kids flocking to
consume alcohol, which is a far more addictive substance than pot? The
answer is simple. Because alcohol is legal, it is sold by licensed
dealers who face criminal and financial sanctions if they sell to
children. The LCBO has a financial interest in making sure its
customers are of legal drinking age.

Since marijuana is illegal, the government has no such control over
the sale of marijuana. Instead, the criminals who sell the drug decide
the legal age for marijuana consumption. This is why marijuana dealers
do not check the IDs of their customers.

If we are to keep kids away from pot, we need to sell marijuana the
same way we do alcohol and tobacco. Only then can we hold dealers
responsible for what they sell our children.

Kevin Killough

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