Pubdate: Wed, 10 Aug 2005
Source: Londoner, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 The Londoner
Author: Trevor Bullock


Re the letter, What About Drugs (July 27 issue). The author makes the 
connection between drugs and violence. The same could be true about alcohol 
and gang related gun deaths 70 to 80 years ago during Prohibition.

After alcohol prohibition was repealed and alcohol was regulated by the 
government, the gang-related violence dried up. Sure we have alcohol 
related violence and health related problems but not due to the trade of an 
illegal, profitable commodity and not to the extent that we had during 

If we were to treat marijuana like alcohol, a lot of problems would be solved.

Right now, teenagers say marijuana is easier to get than 
government-regulated booze or tobacco products, both of which are more 
harmful than marijuana. We need to regulate it so that only adults could 
access it.

Regulation would also close the Gateway Effect, which the Canadian senate 
deemed imaginary in their 2002 report in favour of legalization and 
regulation. The way the system works right now, the dealers are 
unregulated, untaxed and unscrupulous. There is nothing stopping them from 
offering dangerous addictive drugs like crystal meth, coke or heroin to 
people who just want a bag of some harmless herb to enjoy on the 
weekend.  A regulated system would prevent this.

Studies show that up to 30 per cent of Canadians have used marijuana at 
least once in their lives and approximately two million have used in the 
last 12 months. They don't want to go on to addictive drugs.

Marijuana is a tax-free commodity, and marijuana farming is a tax-free 
venture. They say the marijuana industry is a $10 billion industry - why 
are we keeping it tax free and letting the underground and organized crime 
reap all the benefits? Regulate it and put a sin-tax on it.

The Fraser Institute estimated we could save $2 billion in policing and 
reap $3 billion annually in tax revenue. Non-tokers should be the first in 
line praising a sin tax that doesn't apply to them and a tax cut from the 
saving on policing.

There are an estimated 50,000 indoor marijuana farms across the country. 
Police grow-bust ventures are never going to end this. Regulation can. 
There were countless illegal and explosive moonshine stills during 
Prohibition. Once booze was regulated, the incentive (money) was gone and 
so were the bootleggers.

If we take the profit from the illegal farmers and legalize and regulate 
marijuana, there will be no incentive to convert a house into a hot, humid, 
electricity eating, and potentially dangerous indoor marijuana farm. There 
would be no more guns and booby-traps waiting for police and emergency 
workers at the farms.

Trevor Bullock,

Moose Jaw, Sask.
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