Regarding Carolyn Short’s May 23 op-ed, 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.
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.
Robert Sharpe, MPA
Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy