Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jun 2001
Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record (CN ON)
Copyright: Kitchener-Waterloo Record 2001
Author: Robert Sharpe


The June 12 article reported on a study conducted in Kitchener that found 
drugs create prostitution. No doubt, many sex workers are addicted to crack 
cocaine. However, prior to the global criminalization of narcotics in the 
early 1900s, addicts didn't prostitute themselves to pay inflated black 
market prices.

Attempts to limit the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant 
only increases the profitability of drug trafficking. In terms of addictive 
drugs like crack, a temporary rise in street prices leads desperate addicts 
to increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The drug war 
doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

There are cost-effective alternatives. In Europe, The Netherlands has 
successfully reduced overall drug use by replacing marijuana prohibition 
with regulation. Separating the hard and soft drug markets and establishing 
age controls for marijuana has proven more effective than zero tolerance.

As the most popular illicit drug in Canada, marijuana provides the black 
market contacts that introduce youth to drugs like crack. This "gateway" is 
the direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy. Marijuana is arguably 
safer than alcohol. It makes no sense to waste tax dollars on policies that 
finance organized crime and facilitate the use of hard drugs.

Robert Sharpe, Program Officer

The Lindesmith Center -- Drug Policy Foundation

Washington, D.C.
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