Pubdate: Wed, 02 Nov 2005
Source: Airdrie Echo (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Airdrie Echo
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine - Canada)


How should Alberta 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, members of 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, such as 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 such
addictive drugs as 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.

The U.S. Department of Justice research brief which confirms my claims
regarding the spontaneous decline of crack cocaine may be found by
logging onto the following Web site:

A Canadian Senate report may also be found online at:

Robert Sharpe

MPA, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy,

Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin