Pubdate: Wed, 15 Sep 2004
Source: Windsor Star (CN ON)
Copyright: The Windsor Star 2004
Author: Stephen Heath
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Drug Courts)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


Windsor lawyer Greg Goulin is right to criticize the current system of how 
we deal with those who use illicit drugs. But the creation of a drug court 
system is not the best solution.

The drug court's fatal flaw is a failure to make any distinction between 
the use and the AB-use of a drug, most notably marijuana.

In the United States where the drug court system was first introduced, even 
a single use of an illegal drug constitutes abuse and the sick citizen is 
thus arrested and forced into treatment.

Thus the well-intentioned drug court model becomes jammed with clients 
whose need for drug treatment is no more so than an alcohol user who drinks 
a six-pack on the weekend, or enjoys wine with his meals.

Treating the vast majority of marijuana use and in many cases, occasional 
use of other illegal substances, as something in need of a state-funded 
cure is a disaster in the making.

Taxpayers are forced to watch millions of dollars go into curing someone 
who smokes small amounts of pot or enjoys occasional use of other drugs at 

Most harmed are the many real drug abusers left waiting for needed help 
behind otherwise law-abiding citizens whose only crime was possessing small 
amounts of drugs and being caught by authorities.

The best solution? Legalize and regulate responsible adult use of drugs and 
provide drug treatment on demand for those truly in need and seeking help.

Stephen Heath, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Clearwater Fla.
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