Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jun 2003
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Larry Seguin
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor, headline by newshawk


RE "Letters to the Editor," by Troy Dexter (May 31): I respectfully suggest 
Canadians look at the U.S. before they get energized about 
decriminalization. New York decriminalized cannabis in the mid-'70s, along 
with dozen of other states. If anything, it made law enforcers more 
aggressive, so aggressive that the sight of a cop makes you grit your 
teeth. They'll slam you against a wall and charge you with possession over 
the residue in a pipe or on a clip. A broken tail-light is probable cause 
for a search. The cops don't go after big dealers, because it would put 
them out of work.

Mr. Dexter referred to the Senate report last September as if it was an 
open-and-closed case for legalization. There have been 24 other reports 
supporting legalization dating back to 1894 (the Canadian report was No. 
25). The U.S. government has ignored every one. The U.S. drug strategy has 
been revamped, revamped, and revamped.

The only accomplishment: Hundreds of billions of tax dollars wasted on 
propaganda campaigns. Billions spent on DARE, Here's Looking At You 2000, 
McGruff's Drug Prevention, and Child Protection, which haven't shown the 
kind of results that schools should expect, despite years of use. (Health 
Education Research, August 2002).

Canada's first decriminalization step may in fact be like the United 
States'! Backward!

Larry Seguin

Lisbon, N.Y.

(Maybe, but we wouldn't rush to compare a change in federal laws with one 
at the state level)
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