Pubdate: Wed, 18 Mar 2009
Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Copyright: 2009 Metro Times, Inc
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: Larry Gabriel's "Homegrown $$$" (March 11), taxing and regulating
marijuana makes sense. 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 drug problem is no solution. Attempts to
limit supply while demand remains constant only increase the
profitability of drug trafficking. The drug war doesn't fight crime;
it fuels crime.

Taxing and regulating marijuana is a cost-effective alternative to
drug war failure. 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 cocaine and heroin. 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, D.C., 
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