Pubdate: Fri, 20 Dec 2002
Source: Thunder Bay Post (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Thunder Bay Post
Author: Alan Randell


To the Editor:

Regarding last week's editorial, Canadians love their pot, I couldn't 
disagree more with your contention that decriminalizing marijuana 
possession would be a positive step.

Besides allowing the children of the rich to use marijuana and still become 
doctors and lawyers like Mummy and Daddy, what exactly are the gains to be 
had from decriminalizing marijuana?

Will organized crime withdraw from the marijuana business? No.

Will marijuana growers stop stealing hydro? No.

Will enforcement costs go down? No.

Will respect for the law increase? No.

Will fewer marijuana users be jailed? No, because the cops will charge many 
more users than before and because the poor ones will be jailed because 
they can't pay the fine.

Will police corruption diminish? No.

Will children no longer find it easier to access marijuana than booze?No.

Decriminalization, or as I like to refer to it, prohibition lite, is a 
crooked road to nowhere.

The recent senate committee report explained carefully why 
decriminalization is not the way to go. It concluded on page 598 (page 34 
of the summary report):

"Some say that decriminalization is a step in the right direction, one that 
gives society time to become accustomed to cannabis, to convince opponents 
that chaos will not result, to adopt effective preventive measures. We 
believe however that this approach is in fact the worst case scenario, 
depriving the state of a necessary regulatory tool for dealing with the 
entire production, distribution, and consumption network, and delivering 
hypocritical messages at the same time."

What else are we to conclude other than you didn't read the report?

Yes, when it comes to allowing us our God given right to ingest any damn 
drug we want, by all means let's proceed cautiously. Had you been in a 
position to offer advice when slavery was abolished, doubtless you would 
have recommended a go-slow approach, perhaps one that allowed each slave a 
day of freedom every other week.

Alan Randell

Victoria, BC
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart