Pubdate: Thu, 06 Apr 2006
Source: North Island Gazette (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 North Island Gazette
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Dear editor,

How should BC 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 eighties.

Meanwhile, Washington, DC was lax on crack and America's capital had 
the highest per capita murder rate in the nation.

Yet crack use declined in both cities simultaneously soon after.

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

In order to protect future generations from hard drugs like meth, 
policy makers 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" remains open because of a fundamentally flawed policy 
on marijuana.

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

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Arlington, VA
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