Pubdate: Tue, 21 Jul 2009
Source: Didsbury Review, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2009 The Didsbury Review
Author: Alan Randell


Dear Editor:

Re Illegal drug manufacturing affects everyone, Jul. 14, p. 4 Didsbury Review.

I have a few questions for Dan Singleton about his evident support 
for drug prohibition, a program he should know was initiated during 
the first half of the 20th century as a means of persecuting and 
"controlling" people who imported marijuana and opium.

1. If drugs are banned because they are harmful to users, why, then, 
are tobacco and alcohol not banned? Doesn't this seem unfair to those 
who prefer illegal drugs? If we ban one harmful drug, shouldn't we 
ban all harmful drugs?

2. Is it not true that, far from protecting users from harm, banning 
a drug harms them much more than would otherwise be the case because 
it cuts them off from access to drugs of known potency and purity? 
Weren't thousands of Americans poisoned or blinded by adulterated 
alcohol during Prohibition. Didn't the problems vanish when alcohol 
was legalized again?

3. Doesn't drug prohibition cause street level drug dealing? Why 
would anyone buy drugs in the street if the corner store sells them?

4. Is it not true that if drugs were legalized, the flow of funds to 
terrorist groups would dry up? How much money does Osama bin Laden 
make from booze and tobacco?

5. The 1973 Le Dain Commission concluded, "There appears to be little 
permanent physiological damage from chronic use of pure opiate 
narcotics." Why, then, ban heroin?

6. If prohibition is so great, why did America give up on the 
prohibition of alcohol?

7. Is it not true that if drugs and prostitution were legalized, the 
power of the Hells Angels would be severely curtailed? After all, 
Prohibition created Al Capone, not the other way around.

8. Is it not true that if marijuana were legalized, marijuana grow 
operations would be no more dangerous, do no more damage and steal no 
more hydro than the average tomato grow operation?

Rather than protecting anyone, drug laws serve to provide highly 
useful, functional and beneficial scapegoats.

They provide a ruling class with fig leaves to place over the 
unsightly social ills that are endemic to the social system over 
which they preside and they give the general public a focus for blame 
in which a chemical 'bogeyman', or the 'deviants' who ingest it, are 
the root cause for a wide array of complex social problems.

Alan Randell

Victoria, B.C.
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