Pubdate: Tue, 28 Mar 2006
Source: Similkameen News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Similkameen News Leader
Author: Russell Barth
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)
Note: Title by newshawk


RE: Police, Prohibition, And Violence When it comes to drug abuse, 
health care professionals and social workers usually advocate medical 
treatment and therapy.

Many high ranking police and government officials, however, still 
insist that the best way to prevent drug use - and to win 'The War On 
Drugs' - is to put more people in jail, and for longer periods of 
time. They are advocating an extremely violent punishment for a 
non-violent crime.

They are also 'sending a message' to the the rest of us, which is 
that they are in charge, and are willing to do any one of us terrible 
physical harm for the smallest infraction. There is no good reason to 
take policy advice from someone with such monstrous opinions.

My understanding is that jail is a dirty, violent place where one 
comes into contact with deadly diseases, sexual predators, and hard 
drugs. The terrible psychological effects alone are enough to badly 
damage most people permanently.

This could be the reason why some judges are giving light sentences 
for marijuana crimes. They are sensible enough to realize that 
sending someone into a potentially deadly environment for something 
that is essentially a 'consumer choice,' is much like saying that it 
is okay to beat your teenager half to death for sneaking into the 
liquor cabinet.

Not only does imprisonment serve as an unnecessary short-term 
financial burden to society, it will probably cause more long-term 
harm to the prisoner than good, along with a greater cost to taxpayers.

This could also be the reason why the law is no deterrent. Deep down 
- - whether they admit it or not - everyone knows that prohibition is 
not only an unsound policy, it is completely absurd. We don't need 
the government and police to act as a 'stern father,' and all science 
and history indicate that when it comes to recreational substances, 
regulation and education work better than prohibition.

It is very frightening to think that our police officers - who get 
their salaries from the taxpayers and are supposed to protect and 
serve - would like to see someone go to a horribly violent place, 
simply for possessing marijuana, or growing some in their home. 
Keeping the population obedient to the state under the threat of 
violence or death is akin to terrorism, in my view.

There is one group of law-enforcement officials that has a different 
view, however. They are called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition 
(LEAP) and they can be found at

- - Russell Barth

Federal Medical Marijuana License Holder, Ottawa
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman