Pubdate: Fri, 13 Oct 2000
Date: 10/13/2000
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Author: Alan Arcadia
Authors: Alan Arcadia

Renee Boje is on the verge of becoming another victim of the United
States's paranoia-driven War on Drugs ("American faces 10 years in
jail for tending plants," Oct. 7).

While millions of happy and productive citizens continue to use
marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes, those who have
vested interests in the War on Drugs continue unsuccessfully to try
and convince us that it is a dangerous, corrosive substance. Few
people actually believe that, but most who see the lie continue to do
nothing in defence of those who suffer.

As a former resident of "the land of the free," I urge Canadians to
speak out in defence of Ms. Boje, the late Peter McWilliams, Todd
McCormick, and the many thousands of others who are being persecuted
for use of a plant that doesn't happen to meet the U.S. government's
very narrow standards of acceptability.

With the death of Mr. McWilliams, the U.S. government has proven that
it would rather see its own citizens die from untreated AIDS and
cancer than reform its draconian and outdated drug laws.

Citizens of Canada, don't let this paranoia take root here. Write to
Justice Minister Anne McLellan and urge her to grant asylum to Ms.
Boje here. Canada was a haven for many Americans who refused to be
drafted into fighting an unjust war in Vietnam 30 years ago. It must
now become a haven for the victims of this new war.

Alan Arcadia,
Bath, Ont.

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