Pubdate: Mon, 08 Dec 2008
Source: Patriot Ledger, The  (Quincy, MA)
Copyright: 2008 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding William G. Brooks' Nov. 29 op-ed, there is a big
difference between condoning marijuana use and protecting children
from drugs. Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of
marijuana use and frees users from the stigma of life-shattering
criminal records.

What's really 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 like heroin.

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.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin