Pubdate: Thu, 21 Feb 2008
Source: Mission City Record (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Mission City Record
Author: Brian Murphy


Editor, The Record:

Re: The reality of crime, Feb. 14 edition.

Crime will never totally go away, but the sort of crime that threatens
people and property could be vastly reduced if the federal and/or
provincial governments would take a few very simple and low cost steps
to reduce the demand for police man-hours.

1. Marijuana is the least harmful to users of the major recreational drugs
used in Canada: alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. If smoked in quantity it,
like tobacco, can harm lungs, which were not designed to inhale smoke of any
kind. But if eaten in modest quantities, the use of marijuana causes few if
any health problems (except possibly overeating). Withdrawal distress is
virtually unheard of amongst marijuana users regardless of how much they use
or how long they have been without it.

2. Tobacco is the most harmful to health of those three major
recreational drugs, is a major cause of cancer and lung diseases, and
is quite addictive. Users denied that drug do suffer distress, though
not on the scale of opium users.

3. Alcohol is the second most harmful recreational drug in common use.
If heavily used, as is very often the case, it causes a number of
serious health problems, including liver disease.

4. An enormous amount of police time is expended on busting marijuana
grow-ops and other aspects of the quasi-criminal industry that has
sprung up solely because growing and distributing marijuana is
prohibited and legal supplies are only available in very restricted
circumstances. Let us note that currently, virtually without
exception, commercial marijuana grown for sale is grown with poisonous
chemicals that no end user should have to put, usually unknowingly
into his system.

5. If the federal government (preferably) would license only organic
gardeners who agree to grow marijuana outdoors without chemicals or
pesticides, on the understanding that their cultural practices may be
inspected at any time by federal or provincial inspectors, no more
poisonous marijuana would appear on the market.

Growers should be given the option of selling home-grown marijuana at
the farm gate, or to the provincial government liquor control board,
who would sell only to individuals of voting age (conceivably with a
marijuana permit similar to the old time liquor permits), which would
mean there would no longer be a market for poisonous, large scale
grow-op produced marijuana and that source would soon disappear.

6. Police would then no longer have to spend time chasing marijuana
growers and would have several more man-hours to deal with violent
crime and theft.

Brian Murphy

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