Pubdate: Sun, 04 Dec 2005
Source: News-Press (FL)
Copyright: 2005 The News-Press
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Re: Sen. Burt L. Saunders' Nov. 23 op-ed piece. Drug policies modeled 
after prohibition have given rise to a youth-oriented black market. 
Illegal drug dealers don't ID for age, but they do recruit minors 
immune to adult sentences. So much for protecting the children.

Throwing more money at the problem is no solution. Limiting the 
supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only increase 
the trafficking profitability. For addictive drugs like meth, a spike 
in street prices leads desperate addicts to increase criminal 
activity. The drug war doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

Taxing and regulating marijuana, the most popular illicit drug, is a 
cost-effective alternative. As long as marijuana distribution remains 
in the hands of organized crime, consumers will continue to come into 
contact with sellers of hard drugs like meth. This "gateway" is the 
direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol -- the 
plant has never been shown to cause an overdose death -- it makes no 
sense to waste tax dollars on failed policies that finance organized 
crime and facilitate the use of hard drugs. 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

Washington, DC 
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