Pubdate: Tue, 10 Sep 2002
Source: Beacon Herald, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Beacon Herald
Author: Helen Barker

On My Mind


A Senate committee wants to legalize pot? Surely they jest.

And they recommended that Canadians as young as 16 be able to buy cannabis 
from government run-stores?

What were THEY smoking when they came up with this suggestion?

If this is allowed, then it means 16-year-olds will be doing what many 
19-year-olds already do for younger drinkers -- buy the cannabis for those 
under 16.

It should make for an interesting classroom if even one quarter of the 
students light up during noon hour.

If a person is suffering the pain and discomfort of a terminal disease and 
smoking pot will alleviate the pain, I'm all for it being allowed.

But it shouldn't be available as a social puff-out for sixteen-year-olds.

Do those in the Senate not have children and grandchildren? What kind of a 
doped up society do they want to leave as a legacy for the next generation?

I'm with David Griffin, executive director of the Canadian Police 
Association, who said he was appalled by the report and adds, "drugs are 
not dangerous because they are illegal -- drugs are illegal because they 
are dangerous."

However, I do know that my opinion is with the minority: that thousands of 
cannabis users will ridicule the concerns expressed here and by now are 
making Helen Barker dolls to stick pins in.

This is their right, just as it is my right to feel that the legalizing of 
any chemical that could destroy a young person is wrong.

However, I feel that cannabis should be decriminalized. Why give a criminal 
record for smoking cannabis and not one for puffing cigarettes or being drunk?

But whether it's cannabis or alcohol being touted as A-OK, our young people 
deserve better than to be led down the garden path into a deadly patch of 

Life is a short trip. It doesn't come with a return ticket. It's once 
around the block.

Why should young people be encouraged to lose sight of the opportunities 
life offers by looking at them through a haze of cannabis smoke? They have 
enough temptations already available.

But after consulting with several persons who poo-poohed my concerns about 
the legalizing of cannabis, I feel like a "voice crying in the wilderness."
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