Pubdate: Wed, 17 May 2006
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2006 The Anchorage Daily News
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Youth)


If Gov. Frank Murkowski signs the bill to recriminalize marijuana, 
Alaska's methamphetamine problem will grow. As long as there is a 
demand for marijuana, there will be a supply.

Eliminating Alaska homegrown marijuana (made possible by existing 
privacy laws) only to have it replaced by international drug cartels 
that also sell cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is not necessarily 
a good thing.

There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and 
protecting children from drugs. Decriminalization acknowledges the 
social reality of marijuana and frees users from the stigma of 
life-shattering criminal records. What's needed is a regulated market 
with age controls. Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical.

As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized 
crime, consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of 
hard drugs. 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.

- ---- Robert Sharpe, policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C. 
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman