Pubdate: Thu, 06 Apr 2006
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2006 Southam Inc.
Author: Jean-Claude Killey


Re: Harper Wise Not To Soften Pot Laws, letter to the editor, April 5.

Dr. Morris Givner appears to be surprisingly misinformed on the 
current state of science with respect to marijuana and its harmful 
effects. He should be reminded that one-third of Canadians have tried 
marijuana, so unless he is prepared to pay for jail space for 
one-third of the population, it might be appropriate to rethink our 
current drug policy.

Even accepting at face value the harms which Dr. Givner cites (lower 
response times, decreased motivation, heavy "social and medical" 
costs), there is still a long way to go before a case can be made for 
jailing users of marijuana. Alcohol causes all these things, and we 
don't jail those with alcohol abuse problems.

The bottom line is this: drug abuse is ineffectively dealt with by 
criminal sanction. Making drugs illegal doesn't make them 
unavailable, and putting drug users in jail only strips their lives 
of anything positive without doing anything to help their addiction.

Jean-Claude Killey, Toronto.
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