Pubdate: Wed, 21 May 2003
Source: Montreal Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2003 The Gazette, a division of Southam Inc.
Author: Bill Parker
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


I agree with Henry Aubin that we should let adults smoke pot if they want to
but that an extra effort should be made to keep marijuana away from children
(Column, May 17). The only way to even attempt to keep the drug away from
kids is to legalize it completely and sell it in Societe des alcools

As it stands now, not only are we as a society not protecting adolescents by
allowing criminal biker gangs to regulate the quality of what is sold, but
we also allow these same gangs to make marijuana easily available around
schools, parks and arcades. The relegation of wine and alcohol to special
government-run stores has had a tremendous effect on keeping our children
sober, and a similar treatment of soft drugs would at least remove the
free-for-all situation that now exists, control the quality for all users
and generate substantial revenues for the state, and for farmers as well.

It would also allow ordinary citizens who enjoy a toke every now and then to
stop feeling like fugitives for something as petty as smoking a joint and
direct policing efforts to something more constructive. It would also deal a
heavy blow to organized crime.

The new decriminalization policy of the Chretien government, which will see
users ticketed instead of arrested, will allow organized crime to continue
its lucrative monopoly of the sale of marijuana and will do absolutely
nothing to stem the flow of drugs to our children. In fact, the barrier to
smoking weed is being lowered for adolescents, which is completely absurd
and surely contrary to our common societal goals. If anything, we should be
making it harder for children to acquire drugs, not easier.

Only the complete legalization of marijuana has any hope of dealing with any
of these issues.

Bill Parker

Val des Lacs
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