Pubdate: Fri, 21 Jun 2002
Source: Lindsay This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Lindsay This Week
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Parenthetical remark by the This Week editor.


To the editor:

Lindsay's hazardous marijuana-grow operations are a direct result of 
marijuana prohibition, not the plant itself.

Legitimate farmers do not steal electricity to grow produce in the 
basements of rented homes. If legal, growing marijuana would be less 
profitable then farming tomatoes. As it stands the drug war distorts market 
forces such that an easily grown weed is literally worth its weight in gold.

Rather than continue to subsidize organized crime and put neighborhoods at 
risk of fire, policy makers should consider taxing and regulating the sale 
of marijuana to adults.

There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and protecting 
children from drugs.

Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana use and 
frees users from the stigma of life-shattering criminal records.

What's really needed is a regulated market with enforceable age controls. 
Right now kids have an easier time buying pot than beer.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical.

Marijuana may be relatively harmless compared to legal alcohol -- pot has 
never been shown to cause an overdose death -- but marijuana prohibition is 

As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, 
consumers will continue to come into contact with harder drugs like 
cocaine. Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I 
like to think the children themselves are more important than the message.


Robert Sharpe, M.P.A., Program Officer, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, 
DC 20005, United States of America

(Indeed they are.)
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