Pubdate: Thu, 02 Sep 2004
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2004 The StarPhoenix
Author: Michelle Galvin
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I haven't tried squid, reality TV or tower diving. I have also never tried 

Just because I have never tried these things I wouldn't suggest they should 
be deemed illegal or a public hazard.

I am appalled at the sentence given to cannabis advocate Marc Emery, not 
because he shouldn't be punished for breaking the law but because the 
sentence is out of line with those for other, more major, crimes.

Every day we hear of ridiculously short sentences given for heinous acts, 
such as less than two years for caging your children and otherwise abusing 
them for years. A convicted pedophile served only slightly more than three 
months in prison, and an initial charge of spousal battery doesn't even 
result in jail time.

I am told the stiff punishment was to act as a deterrent, so others 
wouldn't be enticed to try marijuana after Emery and his pals so 
imaginatively altered the Canadian flag and protested for a change in the 
law, before he passed his toke to a companion.

Of course there would be risks inherent to smoking pot. But consider 
falling headfirst 10 metres to land in three metres of water. Definitely 
risk is involved in tower diving, yet Olympic medals are awarded for that one.

And I can't see how the risks in smoking pot could be worse than those for 
tobacco. Tobacco isn't illegal. Rather, the government taxes the heck out 
of it, purportedly using the income to fund social programs.

Instead of making it illegal to smoke cannabis, why not legalize it and 
impose the same degree of taxes we see on tobacco and gasoline?

That tax income could be put toward road improvement, something 
Saskatchewan desperately needs. Think about it: we could use the pot tax to 
fill the pot holes.

Michelle Galvin, Saskatoon
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