Pubdate: Fri, 7 Jan 2011
Source: Chief, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Whistler Printing & Publishing
Author: Russell Barth



Re. "Bill enjoys broad-based support," Letters, The Chief, Dec.

I noticed first that Weston refers to me as a "licensed drug user" --
as opposed to "Licensed Medical Marijuana User" -- in an effort to
discredit everything I have said or will say. This is a typical
prohibitionist tactic, implying that because I use marijuana as
prescribed by my doctor, everything I say is nonsense. This is not
historically, medically, or scientifically accurate, but Weston uses
this disgraceful and discriminatory tactic because he knows that what
I say can be proven, so he has to "shoot the messenger." Notice also
that he makes sure to point out that I am from Ontario, as if I am
some sort of "outsider" who will not be affected by this bill.

That said, the support of an uninformed public and a bunch of cops and
politicians who stand to benefit from a bill's passage does not make
the bill a good one.

I challenge any MP -- any person, in fact -- to show any historical or
scientific evidence to support the Tory position that more prohibition
will help things. Where is the evidence? Where, and when in history,
has prohibition ever been successful? The Tories have been asked by
the media and the opposition repeatedly to show any evidence that
mandatory minimum sentences, for example, actually work, and they
simply don't answer the questions. They just keep on with their
talking points.

As for the Member's claim that the bill was "shaped by constituents,"
all informed people know that absolutely nothing that happens in the
Tory party happens independently of Harper. Just like when mom and dad
put "From Santa" on a present they actually bought, this bill is a
Harper Bill, and informed people know it. Repeating a lie over and
over again might make more people believe it, but it still doesn't
make it any more true. Weston's myopic, punishment-fetishist voter
base might swallow that tripe, but informed people don't.

Even if this bill were crafted by consensus, we have seen many Tory
"tough" on crime bills that are nothing but ideological and
counterproductive. Clearly, everyone involved in the crafting of this
legislation dismissed evidence that countered their prohibitionist
agenda, and went with the "firm hand" approach. Ideology over facts is
a Tory mainstay.

John Weston is a fan of prohibition, which has a century-long history
of subsidizing organized crime, endangering the public, and eroding
rights. His party wants to build 12 new jails and fill them with pot
growers, brownie-bakers and the mentally ill.

I support regulating and taxing all drugs like alcohol so they, and
society, could be safer than they are now. I have a realistic and
historically coherent view of drug use and drug laws, based on fact
and science. Weston is pushing a law that he knows will further
empower gangsters and erode rights for everyone else. And yet I am
being portrayed as the bad guy.

So just because my informed position goes against the position of
misinformed people who hold strong opinions that are not based in any
fact, history, or science, does not make my position wrong -- just unpopular.

Weston's bill will help the gangsters. He can deny it all he wants,
but it is still a fact.

Russell Barth

Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User

Drug Reform Analyst and Consultant

Educators for Sensible Drug Policy

Nepean, Ont. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake