Pubdate: Wed, 20 Apr 2005
Source: Taber Times, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 The Taber Times
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)



How should Alberta respond to the growing use of methamphetamine? Here in 
the United States, New York City chose the zero tolerance approach during 
the crack epidemic of the eighties.

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 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 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.

The following U.S. Department of Justice research brief confirms my claims 
regarding the spontaneous decline of crack cocaine:


Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
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