Pubdate: Wed, 23 Oct 2013
Source: Sooke News Mirror (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Sooke News Mirror
Author: Robert Sharpe


There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and 
protecting children from drugs. Decriminalization as proposed by 
"Sensible B.C." acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and 
frees users from criminal records. That's a step in the right 
direction. What's really needed is a legally regulated market with 
age controls.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as 
organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will come 
into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine, meth 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. Taxing and regulating marijuana may 
send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the children 
are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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