Pubdate: Thu, 11 Sep 2003
Source: Duluth News-Tribune (MN)
Copyright: 2003 Duluth News-Tribune
Author: David Hopkins
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Canada's Humanity May Rub Off On The United States Yet.

Their exemplary model of universal health care and reasonable pricing
of pharmaceuticals has been further improved. I'm happy to learn that
the Canadian government is now supplying marijuana for citizens with
medical need.

Though a few of our states allow medical marijuana, it is only with
tremendous struggles for states' rights. The federal government has
repeatedly overwhelmed the states restricting the use of medical
marijuana, even where it is legal.

Somehow this hard line prevails despite doctors being rightly trusted
to prescribe seriously addictive drugs such as morphine, codeine and

With examples like Canada, the people of the United States will soon
require lawmakers to accept their own findings that marijuana is safe.

Yes, their own findings, like those of the extensive Shafer
Commission, advise that marijuana be legalized. Unlike tobacco and
alcohol, it is virtually harmless when used recreationally and it is
highly beneficial when used medicinally.

And the fiber-rich strains of hemp hold the potential for rejuvenating
sustainable family farms, while providing industry with high-quality
raw material for paper, building products, fabrics, food and fuel.

As it did during World War II, hemp can generate many new jobs and
much-needed revenue streams.

Decriminalization of marijuana holds the potential of relieving an
unnecessary law enforcement burden and many billion dollars of public
expenses. Decriminalization can relieve the bloated prison system. And
the benefit of returning 700,000 nonviolent noncriminals to their
families and communities is priceless.

David Hopkins

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