Pubdate: Tue, 07 Aug 2007
Source: Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
Copyright: 2007 The Press-Enterprise Company
Author: Robert Sharpe


There is a lot of truth in Dan Bernstein's tongue-in-cheek July 29 
column ("DEAsy pickings"). International drug cartels are no doubt 
thrilled with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's efforts to 
force California's medical marijuana patients into the hands of street dealers.

To me, it is not clear how helping organized crime maintain a 
monopoly on the sale and distribution of marijuana benefits 
taxpayers. Granted, busting medical marijuana dispensaries is easy. 
Many are listed in the phone book, and cancer and AIDS patients don't 
put up a violent struggle when confronted by gun-toting 
paramilitaries with DEA-emblazoned bulletproof vests. Taking medicine 
away from sick patients no doubt presents fewer occupational hazards 
than taking on drug kingpins.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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