Pubdate: Wed, 23 Feb 2005
Source: Revelstoke Times Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Bowes Publishers
Author: Robert Sharpe


BC's hazardous methamphetamine labs are reminiscent of the deadly exploding 
liquor stills that sprang up during alcohol prohibition.

Drug policies modeled after prohibition have given rise to a youth-oriented 
black market. Illegal drug dealers don't ID for age, but they do recruit 
minors immune to adult sentences. So much for protecting the children.

Throwing more money at the problem is no solution. Attempts to limit supply 
while demand remains constant only increase the profitability of drug 
trafficking. For addictive drugs like methamphetamine, a spike in street 
prices leads desperate addicts to increase criminal activity to feed 
desperate habits.

The drug war doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

Taxing and regulating marijuana, the most popular illicit drug, is a 
cost-effective alternative to never-ending drug war. As long as marijuana 
distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, consumers will 
continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs. This "gateway" is 
the direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol, it makes no 
sense to waste tax dollars on failed policies that finance organized 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 are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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