Pubdate: Thu, 24 May 2001
Source: Guardian, The (CN PEI)
Copyright: 2001 The Guardian, Charlottetown Guardian Group Incorporated
Contact:  PO Box 760, Charlottetown, P.E.I., Canada, C1A 7L8
Fax: (902)566-3808
Author: Jeff Daley
Bookmark: (Cannabis)



I am writing in response to a story from Tuesday, May 15, in which it was 
announced that the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association is calling 
for the decriminalization of marijuana.

They make a number of important points, but the most poignant would have to 
be their assertion that those who choose to use marijuana suffer disparate 
social and professional consequences.

Knowing that the effects of marijuana are no more harmful than those of 
alcohol, should marijuana users be forced to hide in the back rooms, or 
purchase their product in dark alleys in fear of being found out?

There are many users who are socially responsible, educated, professional 
individuals and infrequent users who would prefer to be able to purchase 
their marijuana from the same shelf as their rum or vodka. Should we not 
permit that? Could we not allow marijuana to be regulated under the same 
guidelines as alcohol? Should we also not show any more prejudice to 
marijuana users than we do to alcohol users?

As the Canadian Senate spends the next two years studying the merits of 
decriminalizing marijuana use, we, the general public, should take the time 
to look at these types of questions.

The issue may show up some day as a referendum topic, or as a major 
election issue. Will we be ready to make our decision ?

Jeff Daley, Charlottetown
- ---
MAP posted-by: GD