Pubdate: Thu, 05 Aug 2004
Source: View Magazine (Hamilton, CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 View Magazine
Author: James Perry


Dear Editor,

It's medically proven that smoking marijuana is less harmful for the
body than either the nicotine (and other hundreds of carcinogenic
materials) found in cigarettes or alcohol, nor is it as addictive as
the two other substances. Unfortunately, these two are regulated and
sold whereas weed is heavily restricted. I commend both Jean Chretien
and Paul Martin for attempting to "decriminalize" the usage of a small
amount of pot.

What's needed is not a mere decriminalization, but utterly legalizing
its use, provided it's for a personal use only; by doing so, society
eliminates the criminal aspect of it, as it's becoming as regulated as
booze or tobacco, and loses its alluring effect on the youngsters due
to "the stolen fruits are the sweetest."

Experiments taking place for years in European countries such as the
Netherlands, Belgium or Switzerland showed that once a society
legalizes marijuana, it is no longer considered criminal, thus it
saves funds for police to take action. Also, society gains control on
substance abuse and monies that go under the carpet to criminal or
terrorist organizations or drug traffickers and dealers would stop
being such a nuisance once the problem is solved.

The writer of this letter has never tried smoking and will never do
so; albeit, I believe that's it is time to adopt a more lax and
lenient approach towards this phenomenon, as 40 per cent of Canadians
and Americans have admitted to or are considered to having attempted
it at least once in their lifetimes.

James Perry
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