Pubdate: Fri, 30 May 2003
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2003 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Kelly Grozell


I would like to make a few points about the ongoing marijuana 
decriminalization issue:

Firstly, I believe the government may be trying to lessen the workload of 
police so they can focus on important crimes. Instead of wasting two or 
three hours on paperwork to book a person for a couple of joints, they can 
actually arrest the ones with the cocaine. Not every person who chooses to 
use marijuana has or even wants to have such harmful substances.

Secondly, marijuana is not a physically addictive drug. Why isn't tobacco 
considered the true, legal, gateway drug? We are told it is more addicting 
than heroin and it does kill. Parliament has even taken recent measures to 
protect our children from cigarettes. How many fines have the local police 
handed out since the new law against juvenile smoking? If the police are 
not handing out tickets for this, they have no room to say that tough 
penalties work. Or is it that they only work on the people the police 
selectively choose to charge?

Thirdly are the health issues. If anyone is using anything to the point 
that it is harmful, it is time to stop. This includes practically anything. 
Overuse of Tylenol has proven to cause liver damage and overuse of oxygen 
can't be good. The press faintly recognizes the medicinal purposes of 
marijuana. Just ask any cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, who after 
trying marijuana can eat again.

It's about time Canada started recognizing marijuana for what it is, and 
treat it with the same respect as the other decriminalized drug: Alcohol.

Kelly Grozell

MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart