Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 2015
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2015 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in 
need, but all adult use should be legal, taxed and 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.

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 never-ending drug war. As long as 
marijuana distribution is controlled by violent drug cartels, 
consumers will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like 
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. Marijuana prohibition is a 
gateway drug policy.

Robert Sharpe

Washington, D.C.

(The writer is a policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy.)
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