Pubdate: Wed, 12 Apr 2006
Source: StarPhoenix, The (CN SN)
Copyright: 2006 The StarPhoenix
Author: Jay Crowter
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


What is Stephen Harper thinking?

After witnessing the complete failure of the impossible "war on 
drugs" in Canada and the U.S., the prime minister proposes that we 
get tough on marijuana "crimes." He proposes minimum mandatory jail 
and fines. Increased police forces and funding for them are to be our saviour.

A brief look to our southern neighbour shows Canadians where this 
"solution" will get us. Just like in America, we'll have a brand new 
industry: the prison industry. The Land of the Free now has the 
highest incarceration rate on Earth. A full 70 per cent of jailed 
citizens are locked away for drug offences, and 80 per cent of drug 
offenders are guilty of marijuana crimes, including simple 
possession, trafficking, and growing.

Growing a marijuana plant, or selling or possessing a fraction of it, 
can send you away for years in maximum security prison that's 
overcrowded with murderers and rapists. Yet growing tobacco in the 
backyard is legal. Brewing wine and beer in the basement is a hobby.

Tougher drug laws and punishments contribute directly and 
substantially to the value of the black market. With higher risk, 
drug dealers charge more. The war on drugs encourages snitching and 
spying on neighbours, friends, and even family.

Again, look at the U.S., which is setting up internment camps for its 
own citizens! Tougher drug laws have put the U.S. in a sorry state: a 
once-heralded country is now globally ridiculed, and Harper believes 
that Canada should follow its lead.

Instead of blindly following the U.S., it's time to strike out on our 
own. For now, the drug dealers are thanking Harper for the pay raise. 
Prison contractors and police forces must be licking their chops, as well.

Jay Crowter

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