Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jun 2015
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 The Toronto Star
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: IN 7


Re: Chill out, minister, Editorial June 14

Regarding the Harper government's latest bout of reefer madness, not 
only should medical marijuana be available in all forms to patients, 
but all adult use should be legal. 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.

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. Marijuana prohibition is a 
gateway drug policy.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.
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