Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jan 2004
Source: Jasper Booster (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 The Jasper Booster
Author: Alan Randell


Jasper Booster - I have a few questions for MP Rob Merrifield about his 
evident support for drug prohibition, a program he should know was 
initiated during the first half of the 20th century as a means of 
persecuting and "controlling" blacks (marijuana) and Chinese (opium).

1. If drugs are banned because they are harmful to users, why, then, are 
tobacco and alcohol not banned? Doesn't this seem unfair to those who 
prefer illegal drugs? If we ban one harmful drug, shouldn't we ban all 
harmful drugs?

2. Is it not true that, far from protecting users from harm, banning a drug 
harms them much more than would otherwise be the case because it cuts them 
off from access to drugs of known potency and purity? Weren't thousands of 
Americans poisoned or blinded by adulterated alcohol during Prohibition. 
Didn't the problems vanish when alcohol was legalized again?

3. Doesn't drug prohibition CAUSE street-level drug dealing? Why should 
anyone buy drugs in the street if the corner store sells them?

4. The 1973 Le Dain Commission concluded, "There appears to be little 
permanent physiological damage from chronic use of pure opiate narcotics." 
Why, then, ban heroin?

5. If prohibition is so great, why did America give up on the prohibition 
of alcohol?

6. Is it not true that if drugs and prostitution were legalized, the power 
of the Hells Angels would be severely curtailed? After all, Prohibition 
created Al Capone, not the other way around.

7. Is it not true that if marijuana were legalized, marijuana grow 
operations would be no more dangerous, do no more damage and steal no more 
hydro than the average tomato grow operation?

For me, there is no more reason to punish drug users and dealers today than 
there was in the past to hang witches, lynch blacks, incarcerate Japanese 
Canadians or gas Jews. In short, drugs are highly useful, functional and 
beneficial scapegoats. They provide a ruling class with fig leaves to place 
over the unsightly social ills that are endemic to the social system over 
which they preside and they give the general public a focus for blame in 
which a chemical 'bogeyman,' or the 'deviants' who ingest it, are the root 
cause for a wide array of complex social problems.

- -Alan Randell,
Victoria, B.C. 
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart