Pubdate: Sat, 17 May 2003
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2003, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Matthew M. Elrod
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Victoria -- There is no evidence from jurisdictions that have decriminalized
cannabis, including U.S. states, that decriminalization has a significant
impact on usage rates. American teens consistently report that cannabis is
easier to obtain than beer. Even if cannabis were as addictive as tobacco,
as impairing, disinhibiting and criminogenic as alcohol, as toxic as
Walkerton, Ont., water and as demotivating as the nightly news, it would
make less sense to abdicate its cultivation and distribution to crooks who
work on commission.

Prohibition does not make the herb less alluring, available, addictive,
impairing or harmful. Further, according to the Institute of Medicine and
the World Health Organization, it is prohibition that is directly
responsible for creating the "gateway" from cannabis to the other so-called
"controlled drugs and substances."
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