Pubdate: Tue, 06 Apr 2010
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2010 The Union
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Tom Durkin's March 28 op-ed, not only should medical
marijuana be made available to patients in need, but adult
recreational use should be regulated. 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 while demand remains constant only
increase the profitability of 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 neverending drug wars. As long as
marijuana distribution is controlled by organized crime, consumers
will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like
methamphetamine. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.
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