Pubdate: Wed, 21 May 2003
Source: Huntsville Forester, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The Huntsville Forester
Author: Christopher Largen
Note: Largen is Co-author of Prescription Pot (New Horizon Press), Denton, 


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 treatment.

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 

Christopher Largen

Co-author of Prescription Pot (New Horizon Press)

Denton, Texas
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