Pubdate: Wed, 21 May 2003
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Christopher Largen


Despite the overzealous reaction of the American drug czar, Canada's recent 
push for sensible decriminalization policies gives hope to many U.S. 
citizens, like myself, who are fighting a war we never declared.

Our casualty list is a poignant reflection of our national diversity. We 
are sick patients denied access to medical cannabis while we wither away. 
We are children shot in the crossfire between black market profiteers and 
law enforcement officials. We are innocent people killed in botched police 

We are taxpayers who waste $40 billion annually to fight a war that can 
never be won. We are people who die addicted or imprisoned because most of 
our government resources are spent on law enforcement as opposed to 
treatment. After 30 years of escalating sentences and draconian policies, 
we've lost more of our citizens here at home than we ever did in Iraq.

Despite this human carnage, illegal drugs are still readily available on 
American street corners. This is the terrible result of attempting to treat 
a public health problem as a criminal justice issue.?

I hope Canadian officials will protect their national autonomy and support 
drug policy reform. The retrospective eye of history may regard them as 
progressive innovators who took a courageous stand despite international 

Christopher Largen

Co-author of Prescription Pot

Denton, Texas
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