Pubdate: Tue, 26 Jan 2010
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Steve Finlay


Re: 'Canada's pot conundrum' (Daily News, Jan. 5)

Paul Walton's column breezily calls marijuana legalization "plainly 
stupid." In reality, legalization is plainly the only idea that makes 
any sense.

Whether the drug is alcohol or marijuana, prohibiting it does nothing 
to stop anyone from using it. The only people who benefit from 
prohibition are criminals, who get a monopoly.

Walton tries to justify prohibition by saying that "the experience 
with alcohol since the end of prohibition has been a dismal one." OK, I agree.

But was the experience with alcohol during prohibition better? 
Obviously not. During alcohol prohibition, in addition to all the 
problems which Walton lists, gangs murdered each other and bystanders 
to control the market; drinkers died because of methanol and 
antifreeze in their booze; police were bribed and corrupted; and 
children were used as dealers.

If this sounds familiar, it should. Drug prohibition is producing the 
same results today.

Walton expresses the true idiocy of prohibition very clearly when he 
says that pot is not "a great evil that we should allow to be 
controlled by criminals."

He correctly sees that if something is prohibited, then it will be 
controlled by criminals. But think for a minute: If something 
actually is a great evil, is that a reason for giving it to criminals 
to manage?

Call me crazy if you like, but those are the last people that I want 
to see in control of "evil" substances.

Steve Finlay

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