Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jun 2008
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Jodie Joanna Emery


Re: What we know about marijuana, May 31.

Margret Kopala claims that "smokers use nicotine gum, not more 
cigarettes, to kick the habit," but, because cigarette smokers are 
addicted to nicotine, when they use gum or patches they are actually 
using the substance that caused the problem to cure it.

Similarly, when people are addicted to pharmaceutical drugs, they 
slowly reduce the dosage to quit. Reduction is part of harm reduction.

Ms. Kopala also states that cigarette smokers "don't steal to feed 
their habit" but fails to consider that drug addicts have to steal 
because their drugs are illegal, and cannot be prescribed or sold 
through pharmacies.

Ritalin or Paxil users would never need to steal for their drugs 
because they can legally, safely obtain them.

Our drug problems of addiction and gang crime get worse every year, 
yet police and politicians keep advocating for the same 
prohibitionist approach. It seems they benefit the most from 
prohibition because prohibition means guaranteed funding for them and 
for the drug dealers.

Drug prohibition and abstinence are not solving our drug problems.

How many more prohibition-fuelled deaths are needed before we commit 
to trying something radically different?

Jodie Joanna Emery,

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