Pubdate: Tue, 06 Aug 2013
Source: Reporter, The (Vacaville, CA)
Copyright: 2013 The Reporter
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding an editorial ("Solano supervisors back to Square 1 on 
marijuana dispensaries," Aug. 2): 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 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 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, such as 
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. Marijuana prohibition is a 
gateway drug policy.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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