Pubdate: Tue, 24 Jul 2001
Source: Maple Ridge Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc
Author: Alan Randell



Re: Maple Ridge going to pot, TIMES, July 17, 2001.

Instead of simply rewriting police department press releases, why didn't 
your reporter contact a police spokesperson and ask a few pertinent questions?

1. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms seems to imply that citizens have the 
right to pursue their own form of happiness so long as they hurt no one 
else. Thus it seems Canadians have the right to ingest any drug, however 
harmful. Why does the government feel it has the right to punish 
individuals for what they choose to ingest into their own bodies?

2. If drugs are banned because they are harmful to users, why then are 
tobacco and alcohol not banned? Doesn't this seem unfair to those who 
prefer illegal drugs? If we ban one harmful drug, shouldn't we ban all 
harmful drugs?

3. The 1973 Le Dain Commission concluded, "There appears to be little 
permanent physiological damage from chronic use of pure opiate narcotics."

Why, then, ban heroin?

4. If prohibition is so great, why did America give up on Prohibition?

5. I've been told that police officers support laws like our drug laws 
because they increase crime and hence police budgets and police power. In 
fact, I'm told they would be in seventh heaven if tobacco and/or alcohol 
were banned.

6. Is it your position that the police are duty bound to enforce any law no 
matter how unjust? Perhaps I should remind you that Adolph Eichmann 
protested he was simply following orders when he assisted in implementing 
Hitler's Final Solution for the Jews but the Israelis hanged him anyway. 
Did Eichmann get a raw deal in your estimation?

For what it's worth, here is my position on drug prohibition. There is no 
more reason to punish drug users and dealers today than there was in the 
past to hang witches, lynch blacks or gas Jews.

Alan Randell

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