Pubdate: Fri, 12 Feb 2010
Source: Yellowknifer (CN NT)
Copyright: 2010 Yellowknifer
Author: Ethan Erkiletian


In the article "Judge cracks down on dope dealers" in the Jan. 27
issue of Yellowknifer, in sentencing two people convicted of
trafficking in marijuana Judge Bernadette Schmaltz stated that she had
to render a serious sentence that would discourage others from taking
part in the drug trade.

As common as this fallacious reasoning is, it becomes no more sensible
today than it was during the time of alcohol prohibition in the 1920s
or in Ottoman Turkey when coffee was prohibited. There has always been
a ready supply of any consumer product that is made illegal by a
government willing to give a moral judgement the force of law.

If prohibitionists could point to just a single country where
prohibition did not result in a dangerous and thriving black market
made more bloody and profitable by increasingly punishing laws,
perhaps their argument would begin to appear sane. Currently, harsh
sentences do nothing but drive up prices and profit and should these
policies deter some from entering the trade, there will always be
others willing to risk a loss of freedom or even death for the right
price to a market that always manages to demonstrate a demand for an
illicit product.

Judge Schmaltz has done nothing to deter the drug trade and has only
made her community more dangerous than it was before.

Ethan Erkiletian

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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