Pubdate: Wed, 07 Dec 2011
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2011 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: the editorial Mr. Harper's marijuana pipe dream (Dec. 2). 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 really needed is a regulated 
market with age controls.

Separating the hard- and soft-drug markets is critical. As long as 
organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will 
continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs such as 
cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Marijuana is less harmful than legal alcohol; the plant has never 
been shown to cause an overdose death. It makes no sense to waste tax 
dollars on failed marijuana 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 Common Sense for Drug Policy Arlington, VA
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom