Pubdate: Sun, 11 Apr 2004
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Times Colonist
Author: Daniel Tourigny


Re: "Find a cure for pot epidemic," March 17.

A "harmless joint" is not the cause of kids ending up on the streets 
addicted to hard drugs. There are many reasons people start using and 
abusing drugs, but ask most addicts how they ended up where they are, and 
they will give you myriad reasons: abuse at home or school, poverty, 
boredom, mental illness, hanging with the wrong friends, and much more.

For every person who ends up with a drug problem, there are probably 50 who 
smoke pot and live everyday lives.

"Legalizers" are not in it because they crave anarchy. As one who believes 
the only sensible answer is to legalize and regulate, the reason I believe 
so is that our draconian laws do nothing to stop someone from taking drugs, 
let alone help those who wish a "cure" for their "disease" (how many other 
diseases are illegal?). Do harsher laws work? Just take a look at the U.S. 
for your answer!

If you believe at all in a free society, we have to allow people to make 
choices about what goes into their bodies for themselves, even if we don't 
agree with them.

The only real solution is to remove the taboo surrounding drugs, give 
people as much accurate information as possible, let them make their own 
decisions (as happens anyway), and have a proper way to help those people 
who seek treatment.

Enough lives have been cost. Enough people are in jail. We have beaten the 
dead horse of prohibition long enough.

Daniel Tourigny,

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