Pubdate: Wed, 28 Jul 2010
Source: Kamloops Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe



Re: Christopher Foulds' column of July 23 ('If gambling is good, why not
legalize, regulate and tax pot?'):

Lost in the debate over marijuana is the ugly truth behind marijuana

North America's marijuana laws are based on culture and xenophobia,
not science.

The first marijuana laws were a racist reaction to Mexican immigration
during the early 1900s.

Writing under the pen name Janey Canuck, Emily Murphy warned Canadians
about the dreaded reefer and its association with non-white immigrants.

The sensationalist yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst led to
its criminalization in the United States.

Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rage have been
counterproductive at best.

White North Americans did not even begin to smoke marijuana until a
soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding
reefer-madness propaganda.

When threatened, the drug-war gravy train predictably decries the
"message" that drug-policy reform sends to children.

There is a big difference between condoning marijuana use and
protecting children from drugs.

Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana and
frees users from the stigma of criminal records.

What's really needed is a regulated market with age

As long as organized crime controls marijuana distribution, consumers
will continue to come into contact with addictive drugs like cocaine
and heroin.

This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like
to think the children are more important than the message.

Robert Sharpe

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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