Pubdate: Mon, 20 Aug 2001
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2001 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Richard Thompson


Re: Rock's garden gone to pot? (July 3). While the government should be 
commended for the medicinal marijuana-growing operation, it should go much 
further and fully legalize the substance for recreational use by the 
general population.

We live in a society where every person has his or her vice, whether it be 
drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco or eating rare steak. We allow these 
latter activities because, while recognizing that every activity comes with 
some risk, we also recognize the importance of permitting activities that 
do not infringe upon the rights of others. Smoking a marijuana cigarette 
would seem to fall into this same category. Besides, since most people 
already use their drug of choice (i.e. -- tobacco, alcohol, caffeine), it 
is very hypocritical for the government to criminalize the comparatively 
benign use and possession of marijuana.

Parliament is currently re-examining Canada's drug laws, and the logical 
step is for the government to legalize the personal use and cultivation of 
pot, or at least regulate it and tax it like everything else. To maintain 
the status quo, where a Canadian must live with the risk of being fined or 
imprisoned for their indulgence in cannabis, is to unjustly infringe upon 
an individual's personal liberty.

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