Pubdate: Mon, 10 Dec 2007
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2007 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Amber Mapes
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor.


Re: New breed of criminal disturbs, Gordon Macfarlane, Dec. 3.

Gordon MacFarlane may be convinced minimum sentencing is the way to
reduce violent crime, but this is not the case.

All we need to do is look at the overcrowded prisons in America for
proof punishment is not a deterrent. The threat of harsher and longer
sentences will not prevent young people from becoming involved with
gangs and organized crime in the first place.

We've been trying to get "tough on crime" for years with different
versions of the same ineffective method, and as a result, violence and
organized crime flourishes.

I propose we try a different approach to dealing with organized crime:
end the drug war today.

For example, if marijuana were regulated and taxed in a method similar
to tobacco or alcohol, adults would have safe and easy access,
children would be protected from schoolyard drug pushers and gang
recruiters, and the multi-billion dollar organized crime industry --
which is fed mostly through drug trafficking -- would be replaced with
millions of dollars in annual tax revenue for our government.

We could save billions of dollars every year by not prosecuting and
incarcerating Canadians for growing and using cannabis.

If we end the drug war, our legal system will be free to pursue the
violent offenders and car thieves that plague our city.

Amber Mapes,


(It's not a new idea, but one that'll likely not see the light of
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MAP posted-by: Derek