Pubdate: Fri, 11 Oct 2002
Source: Cambridge Reporter, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Cambridge Reporter
Author: James Young


In response to William Austin's letter (They treat cars better than bodies, 
Oct. 1), I generally tend to agree with his sentiments that pot use for 
recreation is unnecessary, and people really should be able to get on 
without it.

However, he states that, although people should be able to do without 
cigarettes and alcohol, since they are already so ingrained in our society, 
it will take a long time to get rid of them, so we should live with them 
for now and not introduce any more harmful substances. In theory, this 
sounds good. In practice, that is not a valid excuse. There is something 
called equality. It is about being fair. If people want to smoke tobacco, 
and use alcohol, then to be fair to those who want to use marijuana, they 
should be allowed to, since it will cause them less detriment than either 
of the others.

Conversely, we could completely criminalize both tobacco and alcohol, which 
would be an equally fair and just solution, but we all know how unrealistic 
that idea is. Anyone heard about the protests to have alcohol and/or 
tobacco made illegal lately? No. That is because there aren't any.

The problem with pot being illicit is the hypocrisy. We need to take one 
stance or the other on the issue, and stick by it; not flounder in the 
middle while we try to make up our minds (and while pot smokers receive 
criminal records).

Canadians deserve a resolution to this. It is only fair.

James Young

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