Pubdate: Thu, 05 Sep 2002
Source: Sentinel Review (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Annex Publishing & Printing Inc.
Author: Eric Schmiedl
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


It's enough for a big thumbs up ... or a big light up, if you prefer.

Canada should legalize marijuana use by adults, a Senate committee 
recommended Wednesday. The report comes on the heels of a two-year study of 
public policy relating to pot.

The present system of prohibition on marijuana just doesn't work, the 
committee found. Obviously, the committee learned something from early 
20th-century history, when alcohol was prohibited in the United States. 
Then, prohibition simply gave gangsters a product to move and people to shoot.

Instead of the current system that penalizes people for having small 
quantities of pot on them, there should instead be a regulated system for 
marijuana, perhaps like our current system for alcohol, the committee 

"Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is 
substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a 
criminal issue but as a social and health issue," said Senator Pierre 
Claude Nolin, the committee chair.

It's true that taking pot still involves the harmful intake of smoke, which 
the committee recognized. But, as the committee pointed out, it's more of a 
health issue than anything else.

In addition, making pot legal would clear the way for our police to tackle 
other, more harmful crimes relating to the public good. Really, would you 
rather see a pot smoker or a child molester behind bars?

Whether the federal government will ever adopt the Senate recommendations 
is up in the air. Hopefully the feds won't throw up a smokescreen on this 
to cloud the issue, and goes ahead with legalization.
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MAP posted-by: Tom