Robert Sharpe, policy analyst,
Common Sense for Drug Policy
Washington D.C.

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October 1, 2012
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Sharpe: Need to separate hard and soft drug markets

Re: "Drug dealers protecting their turf," by David Sirota, column, Sept. 24

Former beer brewer and current hypocrite Gov. John Hickenlooper needs to prioritize children over political messaging. 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 as provided for by Amendment 64. Separating the hard and soft drug markets is critical.

The marijuana plant is relatively harmless compared to legal alcohol, once mass produced by Gov. Hickenlooper. Marijuana prohibition, however, is deadly. As long as organized crime controls distribution, marijuana consumers will come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like cocaine, meth and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to think the children are more important than the message.

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The Summit Daily Updated Oct 1, 2012 06:57PM Published Oct 1, 2012 06:56PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.