Pubdate: Mon, 26 Aug 2002
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2002, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Elizabeth Woods


Victoria -- Re Marijuana Drawback (letter, Aug. 24): Regardless of how 
harmful marijuana (or other recreational drugs) may be to the user, 
criminal sanctions are appropriate only when harm to another is involved. 
No one suggests "decriminalizing" murder, for example, because that is a 
real crime, whereas the ingestion of recreational drugs is not. Government 
has no business creating crimes where none actually exist.

The foolishness of doing so is proven by the fact that we waste hundreds of 
millions of tax dollars every year shoring up the profits of organized 
crime. The net effect of the biggest drug busts is to maintain the price of 
that drug high enough to generate enormous profits, out of which truly 
criminal activities (extortion, fraud, car theft, etc.) are financed.

When Justice Minister Martin Cauchon backed down on his timid suggestion 
that marijuana use be decriminalized, he should have been toasted by Hells 
Angels from coast to coast for ensuring their profits will continue for 
years to come.

The easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to deliver a crippling blow to 
organized crime is to eliminate the profits by legalizing the use of all 
recreational drugs, and regulating and taxing them as we do tobacco and 
alcohol. We may have no love for tobacco companies, but they are far more 
under government control than any biker gang, and they pay taxes, and can 
be sued as well.

It is legal to kill oneself; how can any lesser self-inflicted injury be 
rationally considered a crime?
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