Pubdate: Fri, 18 Nov 2005
Source: Rocky Mountain Collegian, The (CO Edu)
Copyright: 2005 Rocky Mountain Collegian
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Dear Editor,

So Denver City Councilman Charlie Brown believes that "marijuana is a 
gateway drug." There is a big difference between condoning marijuana 
use and protecting children from drugs. Decriminalization 
acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and frees users from the 
stigma of life-shattering criminal records. What's really needed is a 
regulated market with age controls.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as 
marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, 
consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard 
drugs like methamphetamine. This "gateway" is the direct result of a 
fundamentally flawed policy.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol - the plant 
has never been shown to cause an overdose death - it makes no sense 
to waste tax dollars on failed policies that finance organized crime 
and facilitate the use of hard drugs. The decision by Denver voters 
to legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana is a step in 
the right direction.


Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy 
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