Pubdate: Wed, 13 Dec 2000
Source: Colchester Evening Gazette (UK)
Copyright: 2000, Quicksilver Media
Contact:  43-44 North Hill, Colchester, Essex CO1 1TZ
Fax: 01206 508295
Author: Don Barnard


IN the Gazette report, Drug rethink urged in case (Gazette, December 1), 
magistrates were asked to consider the seriousness of dealing in cannabis.

How much do cases like this cost the taxpayer? Total up the cost of police 
surveillance, evidence-collecting, and the trial. Add on the cost of prison 
or other sanction.

Su;ely, instead of wasting valuable resources, we should view cannabis as a 
commodity within a lucrative, dynamic and expand-ing economy.

Legalise cannabis, and bring professional dealers and their customers into 
the taxation sys-tem, just as we do with cigarettes.

According to a recent House of Commons research paper, this step alone 
could raise ?1.5 billion annually.

It is time for the public to start questioning a political and legal system 
which imposes draconian penalties for cannabis sale and use, crimes which 
have no victims.

Don Barnard, Legalise Cannabis Alliance
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