Pubdate: Wed, 16 Apr 2003
Source: Boston Weekly Dig (MA)
Copyright: 2003 Boston Weekly Dig
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor,

Not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in need 
(News To Us, #5.14, 4/2/03), but recreational use should be taxed and 
regulated as well (News To Us, #5.10, 3/5/03). The very same tough-on-drugs 
politicians who claim a desire to keep drugs out of the hands of children 
have abdicated that responsibility to organized crime. Drug policies 
modeled after alcohol prohibition have given rise to a youth-oriented black 
market. Illegal drug dealers don't ID for age. So much for protecting the 

Throwing more money at the drug problem is no solution. Attempts to limit 
the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only increase the 
profitability of drug trafficking. In terms of addictive drugs like heroin, 
a spike 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 to the never-ending drug war. In 
Europe, the Netherlands has successfully reduced overall drug use by 
replacing marijuana prohibition with adult regulation. Dutch rates of drug 
use are significantly lower than US rates in every category. Separating the 
hard and soft drug markets and establishing age controls for marijuana has 
proven more effective than zero tolerance.


Robert Sharpe, MPA

Program Officer

Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, DC
- ---
MAP posted-by: Tom