Pubdate: Wed, 23 Feb 2011
Source: Merced Sun-Star (CA)
Copyright: 2011 Merced Sun-Star
Author: Robert Sharpe


Editor: Regarding Samuel Matthews's commentary Saturday, "If I ran a
pot dispensary ..." Not only should medical marijuana be made
available to patients in need, but adult recreational use should be

Drug policies modeled after alcohol prohibition have given rise to a
youth-oriented black market. Illegal drug dealers don't check ID, 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 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 is controlled by organized crime, consumers
will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result
of marijuana prohibition.


policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Arlington, Va.  
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