Pubdate: Tue, 9 Feb 2010
Source: Times-Herald, The (Vallejo, CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Times-Herald
Author: Robert Sharpe


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
organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will
continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine
and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana

Marijuana is safer than legal alcohol. It makes no sense to waste tax
dollars on failed drug 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, D.C. 
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