Pubdate: Mon, 26 Dec 2011
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: 'Pot regulation makes sense' (Daily News, Nov. 30)

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 like cocaine 
and heroin.

This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Marijuana 
is less harmful than alcohol. It makes no sense to waste tax dollars 
on failed marijuana policies that finance organized crime and 
facilitate hard drug use.

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, DC
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