Pubdate: Tue, 11 Oct 2005
Source: Brandon Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2005, Brandon Sun
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Mandatory Minimum Sentencing)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


How should Brandon 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 1980s. 
Meanwhile, Washington, D.C. 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 firsthand 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 meth. 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.


Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

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MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman