Pubdate: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 Source: Sackville Tribune-Post (CN NK) Copyright: 2001 The Sackville Tribune-Post Ltd. Contact: http://www.tantramar.com/trib/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/768 Author: Matt Draper SHOULD POT BE LEGALIZED? Medical Marijuana Has Become A Reality In Canada. I wonder if being too sharp and alert for my own good is considered a valid reason for a prescription. When you think about it, why is marijuana illegal while cigarettes and alcohol are not? According to the new packaging on cigarettes, tobacco related deaths kill more people than homicide, suicide and car accidents combined every year. The problems alcohol abuse can cause are numerous, the least of which being an overdose, resulting in the user's death. This is not pro-pot propaganda. It just doesn't seem to make much sense to criminalize a substance when two other related, and far more dangerous, substances are readily available. Look what happened with prohibition. Liquor was made illegal. So gangsters made a mint selling it at sky high prices. Now, in most places in Canada, the only place one can purchase ready to drink alcohol in bulk, aside from a bootlegger, is a government- run facility. Maybe Canada should make the big leap. Legalize pot, remove the "it's illegal so let's try it" mystique and tax the heck out of it. Donate half of the profit to drug counseling programs and the other half to healthcare. Jobs will be created; growing, processing, packaging, testing and selling it at government sponsored weed boutiques. What's that you say? Won't legalizing marijuana give more people an excuse to try it? I seriously doubt it. People who don't want to smoke up, won't. Their problem with dope has never been it's lack of legality. If it were, then why is teen drinking rampant? It's illegal and yet it is still fairly common. The same with kids smoking. Just because the government says something is okay to partake in, doesn't mean people will automatically do it. Voting, for instance. Is pot a good thing? I'm not really sure, but it can't be any worse than booze or smokes. But you know what? Marijuana has been labeled a drug. Drugs are considered bad and therefore wrong. It may also have to do with the low number of tokers as compared to those who drink and smoke. If smoking and drinking were outlawed now, there would be a public out cry of epic proportions.