Pubdate: Fri, 03 Jan 2003
Source: Oakville Beaver (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Oakville Beaver
Author: Mack McLeod


The message of decriminalization, escalating fines, and leaving prosecution 
to the discretion of police is indeed mixed, confusing and unfair to the 
Canadian public (Re: editorial Sending mixed messages, Oakville Beaver, 
Dec. 24).

The Senate Committee message, backed by the evidence of its lengthy unread 
report, was entirely clear. Marijuana is no more harmful than legal 
substances and the use of criminality to discourage consumption is not in 
the best interests of Canadians. Their criminal exemption scheme would 
normalize cannabis as a regulated substance.

The message that "drug use is unacceptable" is ridiculous. Drugs are 
prevalent in society whether prescribed, over the counter or simply 
unrecognized as in the case of caffeine which is actively marketed to 
children. Cannabis, while illegal, is used by millions and, for many 
Canadians, is an acceptable choice for responsible adults.

A more important message is that Canada is a free country, where adults 
make up their own minds about alcohol, gambling and drugs. Regulation, 
taxation and education are the acceptable tools to manage substance use and 
abuse. Criminal law must be reserved for acts which demonstrably harm others.


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MAP posted-by: Tom