- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 1, 2001

Parents who fear legal marijuana might want to consider that kids currently have an easier time buying pot than beer ("Parents say legal reefer is madness," Metropolitan, March 29). Drug policies designed to protect children have given rise to a youth-oriented black market. Illegal drug dealers dont check identification for age. As the most popular illicit drug, marijuana provides the black market contacts that introduce users to hard drugs like heroin. This "gateway" is the direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy. Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol, it makes no sense to waste scarce resources on policies that finance organized crime and needlessly expose children to dangerous drugs. As for medical marijuana, doctors should decide whats best for patients, not Supreme Court justices.

If health outcomes determined drug laws instead of cultural norms, alcohol would be illegal and marijuana would not.


ROBERT SHARPE

Program Officer

The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation

https://www.drugpolicy.org

Washington

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