Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jun 2000
Date: 06/16/2000
Source: Capital Times, The  (WI)
Author: Richard S. Russell

Dear Editor: Voice of the people contributor Lisa C. Marshall asks the
highly pertinent question "How is legalizing drugs going to protect the

Simple. By removing the profit motive, legalization will reduce young
people's exposure to drug sellers.

Taverns and convenience stores are legitimate businesses that operate
out in the open. Their owners know they can lose their licenses and
face heavy fines if they sell alcohol or tobacco to minors. Since they
make almost all their money by selling to adults, it's simply not
worth the risk for them to sell to kids. That';s why they're pretty
diligent about asking for ID cards.

On the other hand, dealers of pot and crack and smack take no bigger
risk selling to kids than adults, and the money is just as good, so
they have every reason to pursue the youth market.

Legalize drugs, impose an age requirement on buying them, and we will
actually be doing a better job of protecting our young people from
getting them than we  are now.

Richard S. Russell,