Pubdate: Sat, 3 Oct 2009
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Emile Therien


RCMP sources say the brutal shooting deaths of two Canadians recently
in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta almost certainly stemmed
from the never-ending violence in that country's drug war. Canadians
should face the facts. Illicit drugs are the cause of the gang
violence in this country, the United States, Mexico and many other
countries. 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 these countries. As such, it is now time to
consider the alternative, namely, approaching this matter on a
national basis as a health concern and not a criminal issue. Is
decriminalization, so often discussed in the past, the way to the
future? Are governments and citizens up to this challenge? If nothing
else, similar to cigarette and alcohol beverage taxes, think of the
revenues that would accrue to all levels of governments, in Canada
alone, most likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars year in and
year out. This is not to suggest that legalizing illegal drugs would
be risk- and problem-free. But that said, it is now time to deprive
drug lords, organized crime and narcostates of the huge, tax-free
profits realized from illicit drug use. For pecuniary reasons alone,
should this not now become a national priority and an excellent
opportunity for the Harper government to show leadership on the world

Emile Therien,

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