Pubdate: Wed, 10 Aug 2005
Source: Midland Mirror (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Midland Mirror
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


How should Ontario respond to the growing use of crystal methamphetamine?

Here in the United States, New York City chose the zero-tolerance approach 
during the crack epidemic of the '80s.

Meanwhile, Washington, DC Mayor Marion Barry was smoking crack and 
America's capital had the highest per capita murder rate in the country.

Yet crack use declined in both cities simultaneously.

The decline was not due to a slick anti-drug advertising campaign, or the 
passage of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Simply put, the younger 
generation saw first-hand what crack was doing to their older siblings and 
decided for themselves that crack was bad news.

This is not to say nothing can be done about methamphetamine.

Access to drug treatment is critical for the current generation of users.

In order to protect future generations from hard drugs like meth, 
policymakers need to adopt the Canadian Senate's common sense proposal to 
tax and regulate marijuana.

As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, 
consumers will continue to come into contact with addictive drugs, like 
meth. This "gateway" is the direct result of a fundamentally-flawed policy.

Drug-policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to 
think the children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe,

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, DC 
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