Pubdate: Wed, 18 Apr 2007
Source: Yellowknifer (CN NT)
Copyright: 2007 Yellowknifer
Author: Moe Brondum


It seems to me that the RCMP have sold Yellowknife city council a
bottle of snake oil in the form of drug free zones (Drug-free Zone
Launched, April 11). How will a drug free zone help? Does not drug
prohibition already make Canada a drug free zone?

By placing a drug free zone around a school, police are indicating
that they are going to arrest and punish teenagers harder than the
rest of the drug users in Yellowknife. In other words, Yellowknife has
decided that teenagers can be the scapegoat for the sins of the
parents. With more than 50 per cent of Canadians reporting that they
have used marijuana in the previous year, teenagers can't be the
principle problem.

It seems to me that a community that cared to deal with this issue
would seek new methods rather than relying on ideas that have failed
to achieve a single beneficial outcome in almost a century. Holland
effectively reduced teen drug use to nearly a third of that reported
in Canada through harm reduction, tolerance, and compassion for those
who need help.

Recognizing that prohibition is the problem is the first step to
recovery. It is not too late to return the snake oil and put the
refund into affordable recreational opportunities and public health
services for youths. Making the lives of youth better is the way to
positive change, more youth in prison is the path to a bleak future.

Moe Brondum,

vice-president, Saskatchewan Marijuana Party
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MAP posted-by: Derek