Letters to the Editor, Opinions

Letter to the editor-Marijuana laws criminal gateway

The Daily 49er’s Dec. 3 editorial “Calif. legislators need class at Ganja U.” was right on target. 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 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. This “gateway” is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol; it makes no sense to waste tax dollars on failed policies that finance organized crime and facilitate the use of hard drugs.

Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war otherwise known as the war on some drugs should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at SchoolsNotPrisons.com.

Robert Sharpe,
Policy Analyst-Common Sense for Drug Policy
P.O. Box 59181
Washington, DC 20012


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