In response to the May 7 Big Daddy column: Taxing and regulating marijuana makes sense. 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 eliminate 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.
Legalizing marijuana is a cost-effective alternative to continued drug war failure. As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers will continue to come into contact with hard drugs like cocaine and meth. This “gateway” is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.
Common Sense for Drug Policy