Pubdate: Thu, 03 Oct 2002
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2002, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


Victoria -- Re U.S. Warns Against Liberalizing Laws On Pot (Oct. 2): Let us 
apply Occam's razor (paraphrased as "when you have two competing theories 
that make exactly the same predictions, the one that is simpler is the 
better") to U.S. drug czar John Walters's hypothesis that a majority of 
Canadians support cannabis law reform because we have fallen "for the same 
myths about marijuana that far too many Americans have fallen for."

Polls consistently find that those who support cannabis law reform tend to 
be of higher education and income. To accept Mr. Walters's theory, we must 
also accept that the most educated citizens of Canada, Britain, Belgium, 
the Netherlands, Australia, Portugal, Germany, Spain and a dozen U.S. 
states that have decriminalized cannabis have fallen for the same myths.

An alternative theory posits that those who support cannabis law reform 
rightly concur with every major study of cannabis policy before or since 
the Le Dain commission, including Richard Nixon's Shafer commission, that 
cannabis prohibition does more harm than good. Naturally, I am inclined to 
favour this theory over Mr. Walters's insult to our intelligence.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens