Pubdate: Tue, 14 Aug 2001
Source: Campbell River Mirror (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Campbell River Mirror
Authors: Alan and Eleanor Randell


Re: On the pot patrol, Aug. 10

Why didn't your reporter ask Sgt. Dwight Dammann a few questions like these?

1. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms implies 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 

2. 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 but the Israelis hanged him 
anyway. Did Eichmann get a raw deal in your estimation? Would you 
feel hard done by if you were sentenced to a few years in jail for 
your part in enforcing drug prohibition, a strategy many have 
characterized as a state-sanctioned pogrom against an identifiable 
minority of innocent people?

3. 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?

4. Is it not true that banning a drug cuts the users off from access 
to drugs of known potency and purity and thereby harms them far more 
than would otherwise be the case? Weren't thousands of Americans 
poisoned or blinded during Prohibition? Didn't the problems vanish 
when alcohol was legalized again?

5. 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?

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

7. Is it not true that if drugs and prostitution were legalized, the 
power of the Hells Angels would be severely curtailed? After all, 
Prohibition created Al Capone, not the other way around.

8. Is it not true that if marijuana were legalized, marijuana grow 
operations would be no more dangerous, do no more damage and steal no 
more hydro than the average tomato grow operation?

9. 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. Would you care to comment?

For me, there is no more reason to punish drug users and dealers 
today than there was in the past to hang witches, lynch blacks, 
incarcerate Japanese Canadians or gas Jews.

Alan and Eleanor Randell Victoria
- ---
MAP posted-by: