Pubdate: Wed, 29 Jul 2015
Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Copyright: 2015 C.E.G.W./Times-Shamrock
Author: Robert Sharpe


In our July 22 Higher Ground column ("Making an example") Larry 
Gabriel wrote about a police sweep on a Detroit Medz dispensary, a 
move which appeared to be defended by Detroit Councilman James Tate. 
Robert Sharpe, a policy analyst at Common Sense for Drug Policy, weighed in.

Regarding Larry Gabriel's July 22 column, would City Councilmember 
James Tate and the Metropolitan Detroit Community Action Coalition 
prefer that we go back to the old days when violent drug cartels had 
a monopoly on marijuana distribution? It's long past time to stop 
treating marijuana like kryptonite. The plant is not nearly as 
dangerous (or exciting) as drug warriors would have us believe.

Medical marijuana is a step in the right direction. Policymakers 
serious about protecting children from drugs will support taxing and 
regulating all marijuana use. Separating the hard and soft drug 
markets is critical. As long as criminals have a hand in marijuana 
distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with hard 
drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth. Marijuana prohibition is a 
gateway drug policy.
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