Pubdate: Thu, 16 Aug 2012
Source: Grunion Gazette (Long Beach, CA)
Copyright: 2012 Grunion Gazette
Author: Robert Sharpe


To The Editor,

Regarding your editorial on Aug. 9:

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 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 Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC
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