Pubdate: Thu, 07 Dec 2006
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2006 The StarPhoenix

Author: Tanya Derbowka


Large drug shipments intercepted in highway busts (SP, Nov. 30) 
treats loyal readers to another proud tale of the RCMP's triumph over 
drug traffickers.

We read about the discovery of valuable illegal marijuana and cocaine 
during a routine traffic stop. Hundreds of thousands of dollars' 
worth of drugs were prevented from making it to the street thanks to 
the bitter struggle fought (and won) against the scourge of illegal 
drugs. And we heard from a hard working RCMP officer how satisfying 
it is to keep drugs from destroying families and harming children.

The article, one among many like it printed in newspapers around the 
world daily, didn't cover any new ground. The war on some drugs and 
the demonization of marijuana have kept the public from giving these 
articles the deserved scrutiny.

The information not stated in the story is far more interesting.

What happens to drug traffickers who don't make the mistake of 
speeding or driving an uninsured vehicle while transporting large 
quantities of drugs? Why is marijuana worth thousands of dollars when 
it is no more difficult to grow than garden vegetables? Why isn't 
jail a deterrent for drug traffickers?

Why does society accept the use of tobacco and alcohol, drugs that 
are responsible for untold numbers of deaths due to overdose, cancer 
and motor vehicle accidents, while marijuana, which is not linked to 
cancer and has never caused an overdose death in the thousands of 
years that it has been used for recreational and medicinal purposes, 
remains illegal?

The Canadian government spends $400 million a year to arrest, 
prosecute and jail drug criminals in Canada. Despite this, the number 
of people using drugs has increased. Think about this the next time 
you read about a drug bust.

Tanya Derbowka

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