Pubdate: Fri, 27 Dec 2002
Source: Kitchener-Waterloo Record (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Author: Mark Johnson


Regarding the Dec. 19 letter by Erika Kubassek, Discourage Use Of Pot, it's 
clear that most Canadians believe the decriminalization of marijuana will 
do our society much more good than harm.

Pot has been proven to be healthier than both alcohol and tobacco, so it's 
quite odd that they remain legal and marijuana doesn't. Tobacco's 
addictiveness often leads to major health problems.

Marijuana, on the other hand, is not physically addictive and no physical 
withdrawal symptoms occur when its use is discontinued. Death from overdose 
is impossible with marijuana. It's just a plant; it can't be compared to 
actual drugs like heroin or cocaine.

It's been estimated that decriminalization would save $1.5 billion in 
enforcement and prosecution costs. If police don't have to waste time 
hunting down a kid with a joint, they can concentrate on busting the 
grow-houses and traffickers, or on finding murderers or rapists.

Kids often get busted for having a bit of pot, and then, because they have 
a criminal record, they can't qualify for most jobs, so they move on to 
real crimes. This pattern must be stopped, and decriminalization will do 
just that.

Mark Johnson

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