Pubdate: Thu, 19 Feb 2009
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 2009 The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Craig Jones


We have to be clear in our thinking about how we regulate illicit
drugs - for the fact is that we do regulate illicit drugs (Ottawa
Urged To Legalize, Regulate Illicit Drugs - online, Feb. 18). We
regulate by turning their production, distribution and consumption
over to the contest between gangsters and the police to, in effect,
let them fight it out. Let's admit that this is a highly dysfunctional
form of regulation, but it's no less a form of regulation just because
we don't call it that.

What we need to think about is reregulation to take it out of the
hands of gangsters and free ourselves from the violence over the
profits that prohibition (our current form of regulation) creates. We
can stand by the status quo, but we have to be willing to tolerate the
violence. Or we can look at the historical record and decide that 101
years of this particular form of regulation does not seem to be
getting us what we want.

Craig Jones

executive director, John Howard Society of Canada

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