Pubdate: Mon, 26 Dec 2011
Source: Daily Courier, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers


The coalition of health and justice experts Stop the Violence is 
right in saying that the war on drugs has been a dismal failure.

In British Columbia especially, marijuana is so easy to get, the fact 
it's illegal is laughed at by those who indulge.

Millions of dollars that could have been spent on things like health 
care or education have been spent fighting the illegal drug trade.

The coalition says the federal government's omnibus crime bill is a 
step in the wrong direction, and we have to agree - do we really want 
our prisons filled up with otherwise law-abiding kids who get busted 
with minor amounts of dope?

But the coalition is naive if it thinks crime will simply go away if 
the government regulates and taxes cannabis.

The drug trade is run by highly organized - and violent - gangs. Do 
you think they'll give up that turf without a fight? It's worth 
millions, if not billions of dollars a year.

And, if pot were legalized, who do you think has the expertise to run 
those government-sanctioned grow-ops? The move would simply 
legitimize the criminal gangs' activities and probably make them even richer.

The tax revenues certainly are tempting, but legalizing weed is not 
as easy as signing a piece of paper.

- - Managing Editor
Jon Manchester 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart