Pubdate: Fri, 12 Jan 2007
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Author: Robert Sharpe


This letter is regarding Fred Davies' op-ed (The News, Jan.

Lost in the debate over marijuana is the ugly truth behind marijuana
prohibition. North America's marijuana laws are based on culture and
xenophobia, not science.

The original marijuana laws were a racist reaction to Mexican
migration during the early 1900s.

Writing under the pen name Janey Canuck, Emily Murphy first warned
Canadians about the dreaded reefer and its association with non-white
immigrants. The sensationalist yellow journalism of William Randolph
Hearst led to its criminalization in the United States.

Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been
counterproductive at best.

Whites did not even begin to smoke marijuana until a soon-to-be
entrenched government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness
propaganda. When threatened, the drug war gravy train predictably
decries the so-called message that drug policy reform sends to children.

There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and
protecting children from drugs.

Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and
frees users from the stigma of criminal records.

What's really needed is a regulated market with age

As long as marijuana distribution remains in the hands of organized
crime, consumers will continue to come into contact with addictive
drugs like cocaine. This gateway is the direct result of a
fundamentally flawed policy.

Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like
to think the children are more important than the message.

For additional historical background please see the Canadian Senate

Historical background on U.S. laws can be found at:

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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