Pubdate: Tue, 01 May 2012
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 The Toronto Star
Author: Emile Therien


Well-known gangster shot dead in Mexico, April 29

The brutal shooting death of B.C. gangster Thomas Gisby in a 
Starbucks in the Mexican resort town of Nuevo Vallarta certainly 
stemmed from the never-ending violence in that country's drug war.

Canadians should face the facts. Illicit drugs are the cause of the 
gang violence in this country, the United States, Mexico and many 
other countries. Illicit drugs have been with us forever and will be 
with us long into the future. The so-called war on drugs, at an 
outrageous economic and social cost, will simply not reduce the flow 
into and use of illegal drugs in these countries.

As such it is now time to consider the alternative - namely, 
approaching this matter on a national basis as a health concern and 
not a criminal issue. Is decriminalization, so often discussed in the 
past, the way to the future? Are governments and citizens up to this challenge?

If nothing else, similar to cigarette and alcohol beverage taxes, 
think of the revenues that would accrue to all levels of governments, 
in Canada alone - most likely in the hundreds of millions of dollars 
year in and year out.

This is not to suggest that legalizing illegal drugs would be risk 
and problem free. But that said, it is now time to deprive drug 
lords, organized crime and narco states of the huge, tax-free profits 
realized from illicit drug use.

For pecuniary reasons alone, should this has now become a national 
priority and an excellent opportunity for the Harper government to 
show leadership on the world stage.

Emile Therien,

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