Pubdate: Mon, 02 Mar 2009
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Emile Therien
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor, headline by newshawk


Re: "Drug trade at heart of violence" (Feb. 27). Canadians should 
face the facts. Illicit drugs, indeed, are the cause of the gang 
violence. Illicit drugs have been with us forever and will be with us 
long into the future. The so-called war on drugs, at an outrageous 
economic and social cost, will simply not reduce the flow into and 
use of illegal drugs in Canada. As such, it is now time to consider 
the alternative in this country, namely, approaching this matter on a 
national basis as a health concern and not a criminal issue.

Is decriminalization the way to the future? Are governments and 
citizens up to this challenge? If nothing else, think of the revenues 
that would accrue to all levels of governments.

This is not to suggest that legalizing illegal drugs would be problem 
free; but it is time to deprive drug lords and narcostates of the 
huge, tax-free profits realized from illicit drug use.

The nefarious consequences of America's war on drugs -- fuelled by 
political grandstanding, opportunism, media hype, emotion and racism 
- -- permeates every facet of life in that country.

Can we not learn something from our southern neighbours? Do we really 
want to mimic this U.S. experience?



(Approaching illegal drug use as a health concern? That's not going 
to happen any time soon.)
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom