Pubdate: Fri, 01 Jun 2012
Source: Porterville Recorder (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Freedom Communications Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe



Regarding your May 17 editorial, not only should medical marijuana be
made available to patients in need, but adult recreational use should
be regulated. Drug policies modeled after alcohol prohibition have
given rise to a youth-oriented black market. Illegal drug dealers
don't ID for age, but they do recruit minors immune to adult
sentences. So much for protecting the children.

Throwing more money at the problem is no solution. Attempts to limit
the supply of illegal drugs while demand remains constant only
increase the profitability of drug trafficking. For addictive drugs
like heroin, a spike in street prices leads desperate addicts to
increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. The drug war
doesn't fight crime, it fuels crime.

Taxing and regulating marijuana, the most popular illicit drug, is a
cost-effective alternative to the never-ending drug war. As long as
marijuana distribution is controlled by organized crime, consumers
will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like
methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result
of marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

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