Pubdate: Fri, 10 Aug 2001
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Robert Sharpe,
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor.


Not only should medicinal marijuana be made available to patients in need,
but adult recreational use should be regulated as well. The reason for this
is simple: Leaving the distribution of popular recreational drugs in the
hands of organized crime puts children at great risk.

Unlike legitimate businesses that sell liquor, illegal drug dealers do not
check IDs for age, but they do push profitable, addictive drugs like heroin
when given the chance.

Politicians need to stop worrying about the message drug policy reform sends
to children and start thinking about the children themselves.

At present Canadian tax dollars are being wasted on anti-drug strategies
that only make marijuana growing more profitable. The drug war's distortion
of basic supply and demand dynamics makes an easily grown weed literally
worth its weight in gold.

With money practically growing on trees any illegal grow operations
destroyed will be replaced.

There are cost-effective alternatives to the failed drug war. 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 users to drugs like heroin. This "gateway" is
the direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol, it makes no sense
to waste tax dollars on policies that finance organized crime groups like
the Hells Angels and facilitate the use of deadly hard drugs.

If you are interested in a comparison of Dutch vs. U.S. rates of drug use
one can be found at: .

Robert Sharpe, Program Officer

The Lindesmith Center- Drug Policy Foundation 

(Interesting, but we're always a little cautious when it comes to comparing
different countries)
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MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk