Pubdate: Tue, 20 May 2003
Source: Cambridge Reporter, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The Cambridge Reporter
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 citizens
killed by police in our own homes during faulty drug raids. We are
police officers tortured and murdered over black-market profits. 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 versus

After 30 years of perpetually escalating sentences and draconian policies, 
we've lost more of our citizens here at home than we ever did in Iraq. 
Despite this devastating human carnage, illegal drugs are still readily 
available on any given street corner in America. This is the terrible 
result of attempting to treat a public health problem as a criminal justice 

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

Christopher Largen

Co-author of Prescription Pot (New Horizon Press)

Denton Tex.
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