Pubdate: Fri, 03 Sep 2004
Source: Chilliwack Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Chilliwack Times
Author: Al Graham
Bookmark: (Emery, Marc)



Recently I have read many articles in regards to Marc Emery being
sentenced to 92 days in jail for "trafficking" of marijuana. His act
of "trafficking" was the passing of a joint to another consulting
adult. According to our laws apparently the passing of a joint is
trafficking even though no money was being exchanged. If this is so
wrong then I believe that one who offers his friend a sip of his cold
beer or other alcohol beverage is by know means breaking the law also.
Bootlegging was outlawed years ago and the passing of ones beer to
others should fall in the same category. Probably the best example of
how the laws are out of touch with reality is to look at the resent
shooting of Tony Brooks in downtown Toronto. Here is a guy who is
convicted of assaulting his wife and kids, plus threatens them with
death and what does our justice dept. give him for his violent
behavior. 80 days total. Can anyone tell me how passing a joint from
one consenting adult to another deserves a harsher sentence than
something convicted of assault and uttering death threats? Why does a
peaceful act deserve more time in jail than one of a violent behavior
as the laws are presently written?

The arrest of a 76 year old lady while sitting in a Hamilton cafe goes
further to show how unjust our laws are. If our laws on marijuana are
to protect us then I'd like to know how much harm is a 76 year old
lady doing to any of us if she is smoking marijuana in the cafe or how
much harm a person can do to us while holding a sign protesting our
marijuana laws as seen in a recent Canabian Day celebration in
Toronto. Are these the hardened criminals that we should be protected
from? I think not. I know I'd like my tax dollars to be spent on
protecting me from the real criminals, the murders, rapists and other
low life that exist in today's society that they are not protecting us
while going after those that are doing no harm to any of us.

To me the laws of prohibition against marijuana are unjust and heavy
handed. Even the new law decriminalizing marijuana are no better than
what we have now. The current bill recommends that the gardeners of
marijuana be given sentences of up to 14 years for growing merely
fifty plants. What the government is saying with this 14-year maximum
sentence proposed is that our people and the cultivators of marijuana
are the moral equivalent of those other crimes worthy of fourteen
years incarceration: second degree murder, rape, aggravated assault,
child rape, kidnapping, torture, bank robbery, armed robbery. These
are offenses that net fourteen years maximum in the criminal code. To
think one can serve anytime never mind 14 years in jail for growing a
plant just boggles ones mind. Where's the harm to anyone to warrant
being put in jail. The Senate Report by Senator Nolin released in
September 2 years ago hit the nail on the head when it says are
marijuana laws do more harm to the people than the plant does itself.

It's time for change.

Al Graham
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