Pubdate: Wed, 15 Feb 2012
Source: Sentinel And Enterprise, The (MA)
Copyright: 2012 MediaNews Group, Inc. and Mid-States Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
Referenced: _


Regarding your Feb. 6 editorial, "Teen pot laws need more teeth":

There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and 
protecting children from drugs. Decriminalization as approved by 
Massachusetts voters in 2008 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 enforceable 
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 prohibition has failed. The U.S. has higher rates of 
marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally 
available. 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.


policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.