Pubdate: Mon, 23 Dec 2002
Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Author: Al Turner


In regard to the recent spate of letters regarding the marijuana issue, I 
want to point out that "legalizing" and "decriminalizing" are two distinct 
issues. At no time has the government said it will legalize marijuana. It 
has said it would decriminalize it. It would make it an offence punishable 
by fines, depending on the amount one is in possession of when caught. It 
does not make the growers and pushers immune from criminal prosecution.

The government report that recommends the decriminalization is one of 
several commissioned by the government since the 1970s and all have reached 
the same conclusions. It is interesting to listen to the U.S. complain this 
will somehow make Canada the stepping-off point for smugglers. There are 
about 20 U.S. states that have "decriminalized" the possession of 
marijuana. Have these states become a haven for smugglers? Of course not. 
If alcohol can be considered as legal and sold -- heavily taxed both 
federally and provincially -- why can't pot be handled in the same manner?

Al Turner

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