Pubdate: Fri, 16 Nov 2007
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Coast Reporter
Author: Paul Blakey


Dear Editor

Re: Legalizing drugs (Coast Reporter, Nov 9th, '07)

The decriminalization of marijuana should be the first step toward a 
rational drug policy. The huge sums of money that the United States (and 
Canada) spends each year just to process marijuana arrests would be 
available to fund more useful endeavours, such as treatment for substance 
abusers. The profit from selling marijuana on the black market would fall.

Although marijuana does not turn teenagers into serial killers, it is a 
powerful intoxicant. Marijuana use by young people should be strongly 
discouraged. Lying to kids about marijuana's effects, however, only 
encourages them to doubt warnings about much more dangerous drugs such as 
heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Drug education programs should respect 
the intelligence of young people by promoting healthy lives without scare 
tactics, lies and hypocrisy. And drug abuse should be treated like 
alcoholism or nicotine addiction. These are health problems suffered by 
North Americans of every race, creed and political affiliation, not grounds 
for imprisonment or the denial of property rights.

A society than can punish a marijuana offender more severely than murderer 
is caught in the grip of a deep psychosis. We need a marijuana policy that 
is calmly based on the facts. An end to the war on marijuana will not come 
from government, it will come from citizen activism and the ballot box. It 
will come when ordinary people make their views known. The government's 
behaviour will not withstand public scrutiny for long. This war is over, if 
you want it

Paul Blakey, Sechelt