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QUESTIONS ABOUT QUESTION 2

Law is a gateway - to protecting kids

January 11, 2009
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RE SAM Allis's Jan. 4 column "Smoky subject": Question 2 was merely a step in the right direction. There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and protecting children from drugs.

Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and frees users from the stigma of life-shattering criminal records. What's really needed is a regulated market with age controls.

Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical. As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized crime, consumers will continue to come into contact with sellers of hard drugs, such as heroin. This gateway is the direct result of a flawed policy.

Given that marijuana may be 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.

Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe
Policy analyst
Common Sense for Drug Policy
Washington

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