Pubdate: Fri, 18 Sep 2009
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Langley Times
Author: Travis Erbacher


Editor: I must say, I am getting quite sick of being told that I
am immoral for supporting the legalization of marijuana and ending the drug
civil war. After all, it seems that the record of the legalization movement
is nothing short of exemplary when compared to the vicious authority that
upholds drug prohibition.

Drug prohibition was started in Canada following the 1907 Vancouver
riots, and was brought in along with the Chinese Head Tax to provide a
legal justification for racism and exclusion towards
Chinese-Canadians. Chinese immigrants brought with them the cultural
practice of smoking opium, and following the riots, which consisted of
white British Columbians attacking Chinese immigrants, many racists in
the west were calling for the deportation of Chinese immigrants.

The head tax stopped them from getting here, and prohibition provided
a mechanism to throw them out, should they manage to pay the tax.

The mother of drug prohibition in Canada was Emily Murphy, who is best
known for getting women declared "persons" under Canadian law. She
however did not much care for women who were not white, and believed
that Canada should be a homogenous, white society, in which we should
forcibly sterilize people with disabilities and prohibit by law any
activity considered immoral or depraved.

Ms.Murphy stated that two puffs of marijuana would make a person go
insane and kill people. This hysteria led to many people committing
terrible violent crimes, then claiming insanity based on smoking a
little bit of pot.

Stephen Harper apologized for the head tax. I think it is high time
that Mr.Harper apologize for drug prohibition, which was not only
rooted in racism and eugenics, but is directly responsible for
creating the social stigma surrounding mental illness that has ruined
many lives, and continues to make life even more difficult for those
living with mental illness.

Perhaps it is not legalization advocates that need to explain

How do you feel supporting this legacy of racism, Mr. Harper? Mark
Warawa? Langley Times reader?

Travis Erbacher, Langley
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