Pubdate: Tue, 24 Feb 2009
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 The Vancouver Sun
Author: David Malmo-Levine


Re: Boycott weed, stop gang violence, by Ed Watson, Issues & Ideas, Feb. 20

It's a false dilemma to be forced to choose between another police
task force and a marijuana boycott when addressing the problem of
drug-prohibition-related violence. The police will only recommend
increased budgets and a cannabis boycott would be no more popular
today than an alcohol boycott would have been during alcohol
prohibition. Neither suggestion will work at all. Cannabis and alcohol
are not simply pick-me-ups; they are relaxants essential to our
health. A cannabis boycott will only result in a stressed, depressed,
fatigued, uninspired, obedient population entirely lacking in dignity.

Legalization isn't to be put off until an impossible-to-achieve
boycott becomes effective and the shooting stops. Legalization is the
only answer to gang violence, as it respects human autonomy and the
intelligent preference for herbs over more toxic stimulants, relaxants
and euphorics such as coffee, alcohol and tobacco. Ending alcohol
prohibition in North America provided the perfect example of an
effective solution to gang violence. Let's all stop ignoring the obvious.

David Malmo-Levine

Curator, The Herb Museum

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