Pubdate: Sat, 11 Jan 2003
Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Hacker Press Ltd.
Author: Adam Jones


Editor, The News:

I am writing today to express the way Americans, not the American 
government, feel about the Canadian government's move to decriminalize 

It seems that John Walters -- director of the White House Office of 
National Drug Control Policy -- upon hearing of the Canadian government's 
decision, swiftly denounced it, taking it upon himself to speak for every 
American citizen.

Well, he does not speak for most of American society.

A recent poll indicates that 61 per cent of Americans oppose U.S. marijuana 
policy. The drug war is widely considered America's number one public 
policy failure. Prohibition has gotten us nowhere.

The war on marijuana smokers is costly, counterproductive, harmful and 

And here is why:

Costly -- In 1999, the United States spent a record $147 billion for police 
protection, corrections and judicial and legal activities.

Counterproductive -- Jailing non-violent marijuana smokers with hardened 
criminals sometimes numbs the person to real crimes and he begins to 
consider himself a criminal.

Harmful -- The Julian fire in California was caused by a DEA helicopter. No 
marijuana was found, but 60,000 acres were destroyed, along with at least 
40 homes, 116 other buildings and 146 vehicles.

Illogical -- Despite enormous spending, drugs are now cheaper, better and 
more available than ever before.

According to a recent survey, high school students find it easier to obtain 
marijuana than they do alcohol.

Don't be intimidated by U.S. government strongarm tactics.

Americans also depend highly on trade with our neighbouring Canadians.

If the DEA does attempt to strangle trade with Canada, American companies 
that depend on incoming goods will be up in arms.

Do what you know is right, regardless of American bullying.

Adam Jones

Billings, Mont.
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