Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 2016
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2016 Asbury Park Press
Author: Dominick F. Bucci


I am a retired New Jersey State Trooper with extensive experience 
working narcotics cases. Bob Percopo, in his Feb. 4 oped "Legalizing 
drugs makes no sense," called recent drug policy reforms hypocritical.

But our prohibitive strategy of the past half-century has done 
nothing to curb drug abuse while simultaneously making our streets 
more dangerous. When those who received commutations were behind 
bars, the drug market didn't slow down in the slightest. People were 
- - and still are - overdosing.

Contrary to Percopo's worries, legalizing marijuana is actually a 
great option for reducing the burden on the legal system and 
improving public safety while simultaneously reducing the severity of 
the opiate crisis. In states where medical marijuana is legal and 
regulated, opiate overdoses have decreased by 25 percent.

Legalizing marijuana deserves serious look

Legalizing and regulating marijuana also takes money out of the hands 
of ruthless criminals. These people will sell marijuana to your 
children without thinking twice. Plus, they can expose your kids to 
other drugs, meaning the illegal marketplace serves as far more of a 
gateway than marijuana itself. We owe it to our kids to regulate 
marijuana, create barriers of access to drugs and undercut illegal 
dealers' prices in order to put them out of business.

Education, research and effective diversion and treatment programs 
will help reduce opiate abuse and youth marijuana use. Legalizing and 
regulating marijuana will make for a better use of law enforcement 
resources and a better use of tax dollars while also making it harder 
for kids to buy drugs.

Dominick F. Bucci

Seaside Park
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