Pubdate: Tue, 29 May 2001
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2001 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Eva Sanders


I add my voice to the many who are calling for the decriminalization of 
marijuana possession in Canada.

I worked for the past decade in Saudi Arabia, where the penalty for drug 
use and possession are probably the strictest in the world. But even with 
its tough laws, Saudi Arabia is not drug-free. There are still those who 
are willing to take the risk.

Now that I am living in Holland, I am experiencing the other extreme. Here 
one can walk into a special bar and order a joint to go along with that 
glass of beer. The Dutch government has understood the nature of man and 
the need for an hallucinogenic experience once in a while. It allows people 
here to pretty well do as they please, because it recognizes that people 
will do it whether the government agrees or not.

That said, not once have I seen anyone abusing marijuana in a public place.

People in North America are rather hypocritical to be allowing alcohol and 
cigarettes -- two "drugs" -- to be consumed legally. Respective governments 
tax these two substances to the hilt, as they should, to allow individuals 
to consume them as they desire. The same should be done with marijuana. 
Take it out of the hands of the drug lords and put it in the hands of the 

By the way, I am a 45-year-old who was educated at a Canadian university. I 
don't smoke ci-garettes and drink wine only with my meals.

Eva Sanders,

The Hague, The Netherlands
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