Pubdate: Thu, 18 Aug 2005
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Robert Sharpe


RE: 'Scare kids away from lethal drug' (Aug 13)

How should Ontario respond to the growing use of crystal methamphetamine? 
Here in the United States, New York City chose the zero-tolerance approach 
during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was smoking crack and 
America's capital had the highest per capita murder rate in the country. 
Yet crack use declined in both cities simultaneously.

The decline was not due to a slick anti-drug advertising campaign or the 
passage of mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Simply put, the younger generation saw firsthand what crack was doing to 
their older siblings and decided for themselves that crack was bad news.

This is not to say nothing can be done about methamphetamine.

Access to drug treatment is critical for the current generation of users.

In order to protect future generations from hard drugs like 
methamphetamine, policymakers need to adopt the Canadian Senate's common 
sense proposal to tax and regulate marijuana.

As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, 
consumers will continue to come into contact with addictive drugs like 

This "gateway" is the direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy.

Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children.

But I really do like to think the children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe,

Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.
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