Pubdate: Thu, 14 Aug 2014
Source: Philadelphia Daily News (PA)
Copyright: 2014 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding Will Bunch's recent column, the institutional corruption 
engendered by drug prohibition stretches from coast to coast and 
reaches the highest levels. The corrupt Philadelphia police officers 
fired for misconduct is the latest example. Entire countries have 
been destabilized by U.S. drug policy. Like alcohol prohibition in 
the 1920s, drug prohibition is causing tremendous societal harm while 
failing to prevent use.

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 violent drug cartels, 
consumers will come into contact with hard drugs, like 
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct 
result of marijuana prohibition. Marijuana may be relatively 
harmless, but marijuana prohibition is deadly.

Robert Sharpe

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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