Pubdate: Thu, 17 Feb 2005
Source: Aldergrove Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Central Fraser Valley Star Publishing Ltd.
Author: Russell Barth


Editor, The Star:

Re: "Coleman vows new measures against organized crime," The Star, Feb. 10.

Rich Coleman and everyone else needs to get it into their heads that
harsher penalties, stiffer sentences, and bigger fines will do nothing
to thwart organized crime. The one and only way to hit these gangs
where it hurts is to legalize and regulate their number one
money-making enterprise, which is pot-growing. It worked with alcohol
in the last century, and it would work even better with cannabis.

Once cannabis products are grown by licensed and inspected growers,
and those products are sold in "coffee shops" or similar outlets, then
the black market will become completely irrelevant. Then we take the
billions in annual tax revenue from that industry, and put at least
part of it toward border security aimed at reducing the amount of
cannabis going south to the US, and the rest into education and health

By endorsing the increase of penalties, Rich Coleman is endorsing more
prohibition. Therefore, he is endorsing a system which subsidizes
organized crime, endangers Canadians, makes drugs easier for kids to
get than alcohol or tobacco, is unpopular, wastes police resources, is
costing Canadians billions, and seems to have no end in sight.

Just which side of the law is Rich Coleman on, anyway?

Russell Barth

Educators For Sensible Drug Policy,, Ottawa
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