Pubdate: Tue, 30 Oct 2001
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Ray Aldridge
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Dear Editor,

Jonathan Maryniuk [Legalization solves nothing, Sept 4 Letters to the 
Editor, Langley Advance News] correctly observed that legalizing marijuana 
would not solve every problem associated with drug abuse.

It would solve many problems: it would take vast amounts of money from the 
pockets of criminal gangs, prevent thousands of otherwise decent and 
law-abiding Canadians from being branded criminals, reduce the growing 
corruption of police, and restore respect for the law, which is now 
routinely broken by so many.

Mr. Maryniuk advocates harsher penalties for drug users, but as a citizen 
of the United States I can assure you that those penalties have created 
many more problems than they have solved. We now lead the world in the 
percentage of citizens incarcerated, a situation largely brought about by 
our war on drugs.

Last summer my family visited Ottawa, where my children enjoyed the 
dinosaur exhibit at the museum. Afterwards we strolled around downtown. My 
wife and I very much enjoyed the obvious civility of that beautiful city.

In no large city in the United States would we have felt as safe, due to 
the terrible problems caused directly by the war on drugs.

I hope that Canadians will observe the damage that the war on drugs has 
done to my once free and peaceful country, and avoid the mistakes that have 
so damaged us.

Ray Aldridge, Florida
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