Pubdate: Tue, 10 Sep 2002
Source: Telegram, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2002 The Telegram
Author: Jeffrey F. Cuff
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Your Sept. 7 editorial, "Getting high with the senators," typifies the 
condescending tone with which opponents to legalizing marijuana substitute 
rhetoric for reason.

Characterizing pro-legalization ideas as formed after "sharing a couple of 
big bats [sic] of weed" denigrates both ideas and those holding them in one 
easy cliche. You sneer: "Too many people breaking the law? Well, then, 
scrap the law." Maybe if you were more high-minded you would see something 
more profound: "too many people" (it used to be called "a majority") 
believe the law is wrong and must be changed. The prohibitionist responds: 
Well then, shelve democracy.

Then there are "the kids": favourite shibboleth of the prohibitionist. Of 
14 column inches (excluding the callout box misrepresenting your editorial 
thrust), seven obsess on this "crucially flawed" element. Also typical 
demagoguery: drown out reason with a fear that our kids will become the 
greasy stereotypes of anti-drug propaganda.

You state "any suggestion that federal control ... is ... possible is 
simple, wilful blindness." Maybe. But if so, how can you suggest efficacy 
in keeping the far greater levels of federal control entailed by the status 
quo? Are we to infer that you have a simple, wilful blind spot?

I conclude my critique by pointing out that the debate needed to forge 
effective drug policy can never occur so long as one side gets public 
moneys and free "public service" space -- while the other risks reprisal 
for freely speaking its mind.

Amnesty is not a solution, but a precursor to an honest search for one. 
Lacking amnesty, drug users could benefit from a commitment to freedom of 
the press which protects the identity of sources who cannot speak freely, 
but Telegram policy courageously prohibits noms de plume.

Never mind. Only one of us will be able to disown authorship of the one 
unsigned opinion permitted on your editorial page.

Jeffrey F. Cuff

St. John's
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom