Pubdate: Tue, 06 Jan 2009
Source: Register Citizen (CT)
Copyright: 2009 Register Citizen
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your Jan. 2 editorial, 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 heroin. 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. 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, MPA Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC
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