Pubdate: Thu, 22 Jan 2004
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd 2004
Author: Robert Sharpe


For a subject as controversial as cannabis, your editorial (20
January) was remarkably balanced. That being said, the
reclassification of cannabis to Class C is merely a step in the right
direction. 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 is needed is a regulated market with age controls. Separating the
hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as cannabis remains
illegal and is distributed by organised crime, consumers will continue
to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs.

Given that cannabis is arguably safer than alcohol - the plant has
never been shown to cause an overdose death - it makes no sense to
waste tax revenue on failed policies that finance organised crime and
facilitate the use of hard drugs. Drug policy reform may send the
wrong message to children, but I like to think the children themselves
are more important than the message.


Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington DC, USA
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