Pubdate: Sat, 04 Feb 2012
Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Press Democrat
Author: Robert Sharpe

Letter of the Day


EDITOR: The only reason marijuana is grown in residential 
neighborhoods is because large-scale outdoor farming remains 
prohibited ("Wake up and smell the pot," Sunday). Indoor operations 
are a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Legitimate farmers do 
not grow tomatoes in suburban basements. Driving cultivation further 
underground is not the answer.

Not only should medical marijuana be made available to those 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. 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 come into contact with hard drugs such as methamphetamine, 
cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.


Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy

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