Editor: (Re: Wayne Young column — Fine, decriminalize or legalize marijuana etc.).
There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and protecting children from drugs. Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and spares users lifelong criminal records. What’s really needed is a legally regulated market with age controls. Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical.
As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin. Marijuana prohibition is a gateway drug policy. It makes no sense to waste tax dollars on failed marijuana policies that finance organized crime and facilitate the use of hard drugs.
Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst,
Common Sense for Drug Policy,