Pubdate: Mon, 21 Aug 2006
Source: Nelson Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Nelson Daily News
Note: The newspaper does not have an active website.
Author: Paul DeFelice


To the Editor,

Re: Letter "Drug Crusaders listen up", NDN August 15, 2006.

Ms. Lorusso begins here letter with outrageous and atypical stories about
children and adults' pot use but provides no support for them. The Canadian
Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, after much research, has
concluded in the Cannabis: Summary Report, Sept. 2002, that:

"Clearly, current approaches are ineffective and inefficient.
Ultimately, their effect amounts to throwing taxpayers money down the
drain in a crusade that is not warranted by the danger posed by the
substance. It has been maintained that drugs, including cannabis, are
not dangerous because they are illegal but rather are illegal because
they are dangerous. This is perhaps true of other types of drugs, but
not of cannabis. We should state this clearly once and for all, for
public good: it is time to stop this crusade."

The Committee also concluded:

"A public health policy:

- -When cannabis was listed as a prohibited substance in 1923, no public
debate or discussion was held on the known effects of the drug. In
fact, opinions expressed were disproportionate to the dangers of the

- -We have demonstrated that criminal law is not an appropriate
governance tool for matters relating to personal choice and that
prohibition is known to result in harm which often outweighs the
desired positive effects.

. Indeed available data indicate that the scale of the cannabis use
phenomenon can no longer be ignored.

. All of this does not in any way mean, however, that cannabis use
should be encouraged or left unregulated."


"A regulatory approach to cannabis: The prohibition of cannabis does
not bring about the desired reduction in cannabis consumption or
problematic use. However, this approach does have a whole series of
harmful consequences. Users are marginalized, and over 20,000
Canadians are arrested each year for cannabis possession. Young people
in schools no longer enjoy the same constitutional and civil
protection of their rights as others. Organized crime benefits from
prohibition and the criminalization of cannabis enhances their power
and wealth. Society will never be able to stamp out drug use
- -particularly cannabis use."

Ms. Lorusso seems unconcerned about the harm that prohibition causes
to children (and adults) like easy access to dangerous substances from
unscrupulous black market dealers, arrest, detention, and strip
searching by police, assault, abuse, and infection when imprisoned,
criminal records, turf battle crossfire, corrupt government, and lies
and hypocrisy from parents, teachers, and police.

Paul DeFelice


Holy Smoke Culture Shop
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