Pubdate: Fri, 01 Apr 2011
Source: Reporter, The (Vacaville, CA)
Copyright: 2011 The Reporter
Author: Robert Sharpe


Not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in
need ("Vacaville City Council just says no to pot dispensaries," March
23), 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 drug trafficking. For addictive
drugs such as 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 the never-ending drug war. As long as
marijuana distribution is controlled by organized crime, consumers
will continue to come into contact with hard drugs such as
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result
of marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake