Pubdate: Thu, 13 Oct 2005
Source: Brandon Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2005, Brandon Sun
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about Robert Sharpe's thoughtful letter Go Easy On Pot To 
Stop Meth (Oct. 11).

I submit that the vast majority of drug users would use only 
marijuana if it were available at an affordable price. But it is not 
available at an affordable price. During the early 1970s marijuana 
sold for $10 to $20 an ounce here in the United States. Now it sells 
for about $300 an ounce.

Today's price of marijuana is the result of the "prohibition tax" 
which goes to organized criminals -- the government gets nothing.

If a beer drinker cannot get any beer, they switch to another type of 
alcoholic beverage. If a marijuana user cannot obtain marijuana at an 
affordable price, many switch to other drugs like meth. And because 
marijuana is illegal, it is sold only by criminals, criminals who 
often sell other drugs like meth.

And their marijuana suppliers often give out free samples of other 
drugs like meth, creating the so-called "gateway effect."

If marijuana were legally available in licensed business 
establishments like tobacco and alcohol are, our meth problem would 
be a tiny fraction of what it is today.

Our counterproductive drug policies have made the least toxic drug 
the most expensive and the most toxic drug the least expensive.


Mesa, Arizona
- ---
MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman