Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jul 2002
Source: Olympian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2002, The Olympian
Author: David L. Edwards


Hurray! We've broken the back of the Canadian drug trade. Is the final 
victory in the drug war just around the corner?

In an operation that began in January 2000, we have squandered manpower -- 
over 300 U.S. and Canadian officers from the FBI, DEA, customs, border 
patrol and Mounties who could have been chasing terrorists -- in order to 
nab a few measly tons of marijuana and a couple of millions in cash in 
Quebec and British Columbia.

Forty-seven people were arrested. Basically we just created 47 new job 
opportunities for the hundreds of people waiting to fill their shoes.

Does anyone really believe that this wasteful two-year sting is going to 
have the least impact on the availability or street price of marijuana in 
the United States?

In Western Europe -- England, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Italy -- the 
opposite trend prevails: turning a blind eye on enforcing penalties for 
simple cannabis possession. Enforcement resources are thus freed up to go 
after dangerous hard drugs, and cannabis use has not gone through the roof.

If we taxed and regulated marijuana for adults as we do alcohol, we could 
free up personnel to pursue terrorists and hard drugs, and we could use the 
tax revenues to provide treatment where appropriate, plus honest drug 

How many million more adults do we have to arrest and jail before we can 
declare victory and abandon this futile war against marijuana?

David L. Edwards, Olympia 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom