Pubdate: Thu, 05 Mar 2009
Source: Chico News & Review, The (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Drug policies modeled after alcohol 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
the supply of illegal drugs only increase the profitability of drug
trafficking. For addictive drugs like heroin, 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 a never-ending drug war. As long as
marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime,
consumers will come into contact with sellers of addictive drugs like
meth. This "gateway" is the direct result of marijuana

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

Arlington, Va.

Editor's note: Robert Sharpe is a policy analyst at Common Sense for
Drug Policy in Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin