Pubdate: Wed, 11 Jun 2003
Source: London Free Press (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation.
Author: Shawn Lewis 
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Michelle Hyde's letter, Changes urged in proposed pot bill (June 4), is yet
another example of the misconceptions opponents of marijuana reform believe
to be true. 

Hyde writes "I don't believe we need artificial stimulants since they impair
one's judgment." Marijuana is not artificial; essentially the dried "fruit"
of the cannabis plant, marijuana is one of the most natural stimulants
consumed anywhere in society. 

Hyde should take a good look at the ingredients in the food we eat, or the
numerous legal products (complete with side-effects) found on drug store
shelves but nowhere in nature. 

Hyde also writes she is "told marijuana has the same effect on a person as
alcohol" then links this to spousal abuse. Marijuana does not have the same
physiological or psychological effects as alcohol, nor does using marijuana
lead to violent behavior. Don't believe everything you are told. 

Hyde worries about the potential social cost, but makes no mention of the
existing social cost of enforcement and prosecution, or the socio-economic
burden, of having 600,000 Canadians living under the stigma and burden of a
criminal record for simple possession. 

As for The Free Press editorial, Pot law needs full study first (May 29),
the opinion expressed would be funny if it weren't so sad. How many times
has this paper criticized the governments of the day for spending millions
on studies and reports, only to leave them ignored and collecting dust on
shelves? After three decades of examining this issue, the government finally
takes action and The Free Press calls for more study. 

It is time those who oppose this bill based on moral opinion rather then
facts stop relying on myths and fear to defend their position. The only real
problem with this bill is it does not go far enough, having been watered
down to appease the Americans. 

Shawn Lewis 

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