Pubdate: Wed, 25 Sep 2002
Source: Oshawa This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Oshawa This Week
Author: Justin Archambault


To the editor:

Re: 'Push to legalize pot foolish move,' Crystal Crimi column of Sept. 18, 
2002, The Canadian Statesman.

The recent opinion article holds true to its journalistic purpose, which is 
- - simply put - an opinion. The columnist, Crystal Crimi, raises several 
controversial issues surrounding the legalization of the plant, while 
tackling commonly asked questions. However, she defends her argument with 
several irrelevant and isolated points.

Ms. Crimi insinuates that conservative use of cigarettes and alcohol poses 
little or no threat, as she mentions a person's thought pattern cannot 
change by having only one cigarette. It seems she has forgotten the 
addictive properties of nicotine - one smoke could get most people hooked, 
which in turn does change someone's thought pattern.

Ms. Crimi furthers unfounded claims of negative reactions to the drug with 
a substantial portion of her argument stemming from former classmates who 
"suddenly developed learning disabilities" as a result of "recreational" use.

Judging such a small portion of marijuana smokers as basis for a published 
article should not reflect an informed analysis of the topic. In my old 
high school, most regular users I encountered went on to receive honour 
roll grades, post-secondary education and general success in their lives, 
which was likely influenced, but not decided, as a result of smoking pot. 
That doesn't mean one becomes smarter due to usage, but does exemplify the 
point that the effects vary from one individual to another.

She subsequently argues, "a drug is a drug and there should be no 
exceptions." In many countries around the world, possession of many 
over-the-counter flu and allergy drugs are punishable with prison time. The 
definition of a drug cannot be simply construed as a state-legislated law, 
but rather the impact and detriment it can have on its people.

I say this country acts as soon as it can to remove the outdated pot laws, 
use the extra revenue to fund rehabilitation clinics for hard drug users, 
make our judicial system efficient and put more cops on the streets to nab 
real criminals - not a bunch of kids sharing a few tokes.

Justin Archambault Clarington
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