Pubdate: Thu, 18 Oct 2007
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Times Colonist
Author: Harry Abrams


Re: "Amsterdam has lessons for our downtown," letter, Oct. 15.

In the 1970s Dutch authorities elected to decriminalize the sale and
purchase of personal quantities of cannabis products. It has been a
boon to tourism, as people from all over the world visit to safely

However as consumer-friendly as this may outwardly seem, the fact is
that the Netherlands only tolerates the trade and has yet to formally
legalize it.

The wholesale and supply end -- and it's a huge business -- is
unregulated and dominated by organized crime groups.

One of the reasons for this is that much of the product is brought in
through other countries where its production, sale and transport may
be legally forbidden. So much of what is on offer, other than what has
been produced in-country, has been smuggled.

This is a less-than-ideal scenario to emulate.

If Canada chooses to decriminalize marijuana use, and I think it
should, then we should regulate it properly, and make it legal all the
way down the line.

However, as long as B.C. bud's still in demand in the U.S., then
profitable but illegal grow-ops and the organizations that run them
will still be a problem.

Harry Abrams,

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