Pubdate: Thu, 21 May 2009
Source: Capitol Weekly (Sacramento, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Capitol Weekly Group
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Title By Newshawk


In response to the May 7 Big Daddy column: 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 problem is no solution. Attempts to 
eliminate the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant 
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.

Legalizing marijuana is a cost-effective alternative to continued 
drug war failure. As long as organized crime controls marijuana 
distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with hard 
drugs like cocaine and meth. This "gateway" is a direct result of 
marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
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