Pubdate: Mon, 26 May 2003
Source: Peak, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Peak Publications Society
Author: Christopher Largen


Despite the overzealous reaction of the American drug czar, Canada's recent 
push for sensible decriminalisation 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 blackmarket 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 instead of 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 street corner in America. 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 retroactive eye of history may regard them as 
progressive innovators who took a courageous stand despite international 

Christopher Largen
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