Pubdate: Thu, 29 Sep 2005
Source: Hope Standard (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Hope Standard
Author: Colin Walker


Editor, The Standard:

Re Letter: "My observation is, that children born of both parents on pot in
many cases need special schooling, they are dull and timid."

Ms. Maguire's observations of children must be very limited to
conclude that prenatal cannabis usage causes any kind of brain damage
in children or makes them slow. This is simply not true. If it were,
the DEA would have saturated the USA airwaves with it. The government
of Canada would be trumpeting it to support the failed policy of
prohibition. The fact is, alcohol does far more damage, with actual
evidence of damage, fas (fetal alcohol syndrome) and is easily
obtained by adults. Not only is it easy to obtain but producers,
consumers, and workers in the trade all pay taxes. They are subject to
regulation and quality control.

Mothers and grandmothers will have to face that their kids grow up and
sometimes make unwise choices. The question is, are we there to help,
or are we there to punish? I'm curious. If Ms. Maguire's child were to
become a non-violent drug addict, would she rather see him/her in a
hospital or a cage? Treated by doctors or abused in the prison system?

Given help or disenfranchised, ostracized, and humiliated?

Under the current system of total prohibition, little Suzy nowadays
has no trouble obtaining ecstasy, methamphetamine, heroin, or cocaine.
Things that were rare and expensive when I was young. 30 years of the
war on some drugs and they are everywhere. If that is not an
indication of failure, I do not know what is.

Our policies around drugs have to change but more of the same, just
because the USA is hysterical in its holy war against cannabis, is not
acceptable. We need fact based information and a separation of the
hard and soft drug markets. Cannabis is a highly politicized herb and
the rhetoric is hot on both sides but nothing is ever resolved. It
should be legalized immediately since it is less harmful than already
legal intoxicants/drugs. The statement "kids of pot users are mentally
retarded" is a throwback to reefer madness. It is false, there is no
basis for the conclusion.

Colin Walker,

New Westminster
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