Pubdate: Thu, 15 May 2003
Source: Mission City Record (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 The Mission City Record
Author: Colin Walker
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Editor, The Record:

Re: letter by Marie Cummings, May 8, 2003 edition.

So, Ms. Cummings, it is your perception that drug users and producers are 

The stories of busts are paraded before you to continually reinforce the 
mistaken perception that your tax dollars are not being wasted. However, 
despite the sizes and frequencies of the busts you see in the news, drugs 
are everywhere.

Available everywhere and the prices have dropped in recent years because 
the supply is so vast.

The police openly admit that they can't get even 10 per cent of it and are 
now claiming that there are more grow ops than they could ever hope to bust.

You may see such busts as evidence of "a good effort at cleaning up some of 
the scum in our society" but really they are just evidence of the continual 
failure of law-enforcement to deal with the problem. If severe punishment 
really did stop drug use then the USA would be drug free by now.

Every once in a while there is even a story about execution of drug dealers 
in China.

Now if death does not deter people from dealing drugs what can?

Law-enforcement fails because it is not a criminal matter. Make no mistake; 
police are as much a victim of prohibition as society. If we cannot stop 
drugs from entering jails, how could we ever hope to keep it off the streets?

The real reasons you keep seeing news stories about busts as a success is 
that your perception is flawed by your obvious prejudice. If you would read 
the Senate Committee Report on Cannabis released in 2002 you would know 
that the gateway theory as you describe is false and if there is any 
gateway to other drugs, it is already legal. Alcohol.

What you fail to recognize is that people who smoke cannabis are not 
responsible for the ills of society as you have been convinced. Nor are 
they deviants, insane, or evil, they are fellow citizens.

A minority that causes next to no problems (other than your reefer-madness 
fantasies) and is subject to the heavy hand of criminal justice for 
indulging in a simple vice.

In order to have freedom and autonomy as individuals, we must accord it to 
each other and respect the diverse nature of our culture. People have the 
right to make their own choices and it is only when there is a demonstrable 
harm to another should criminal sanctions ever be applied.

Drugs may be bad but 65 years of prohibition has not solved anything but it 
has made a lot of criminals rich. You cannot legislate your form of 
morality and you cannot change human nature simply by writing a law.

You and your prohibitionist friends are protecting those huge profits for 
them, pat yourself on the back.

Colin Walker
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager