Pubdate: Mon, 09 Mar 2009
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2009 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Emile Therien


Re: Anti-gang legislation.

The Harper government's proposed anti-gang legislation may very well 
lead to a national debate among Canadians that the so-called war on 
drugs, at an outrageous social and economic cost, will simply not 
reduce the use of illicit drugs and crime in our society.

The law of unintended consequences may very well come into play, to 
the great disappointment of those in the criminal justice system, 
politicians, policy makers, and citizens who preach and practise that 
prohibition is the "cure" to the lucrative drug trade. Needless to 
say, this is a debate those individuals would not want or welcome. 
But in the interest of effective and sound public policy, they should 
- -- Canada badly needs this debate.

The question is hardly ever asked, how many Canadians use illicit 
drugs? It is important to put this whole issue into proper 
perspective. According to a very reliable source, at most, 4% of the 
population use them and less than 2% of the population has a problem 
stemming from a hard drug like cocaine or heroin. Hardly a scourge or epidemic.

Considering these low numbers, should not the priorities be 
treatment, rehabilitation, demand-reduction programs, etc. History, 
going back to the 1920s and 1930s, clearly reveals that prohibition, 
and its unintended consequences, simply does not work and has never worked.



(Prohibition makes people try to get away with it.)
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom