Pubdate: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Source: Chilliwack Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2012 Chilliwack Times
Author: Colin Walker



Regarding Mr. Driedger's opinion regarding legalizing cannabis and 
the growing numbers of calls for changing our policies concerning 
cannabis(Times, Nov. 22).

A person totally loses all cred-ility to me when they compare using a 
recreational drug to robbery or murder. Now using drugs or alcohol 
may not be wise, may lead to problems that do affect others but we 
cannot police so-called crimes where all parties consent. Nor is it 
likely you would find 50 per cent of the population in favour of 
decriminalizing activities that produces actual victims. If someone 
is murdered, there is a victim. If someone is robbed, they call the 
police. If someone sells someone else a bag of pot, both people 
generally leave satisfied; there is no complaint to the police. Laws 
that attempt to make consenting activities illegal fail to curtail 
such activities and cause people to disrespect the law.

Well, I got past that and kept reading because I like to think I have 
an open mind, even when the initial statements put me off, until I 
got to the next big canard, which is the supposition that usage of 
cannabis would skyrocket. First off, this ignores the fact that 
anyone can get it anytime now if they want it. It also ignores the 
fact that people who don't use it now are not likely to be going to 
rush out and try it. I do not believe the legal status prevents 
anyone who wants to try cannabis from doing so. Even if adults choose 
to use it more under decriminalization or outright legalization, the 
youth rate of use in the Netherlands is lower than here where it's 
totally banned. I was not able to verify his numbers but I did find 
this gem on Reuters: "Dutch among lowest cannabis users in Europe" 
from 2009 (www. idUSL5730185).

Finally, the reason organized crime is involved with illicit drugs is 
precisely because they are illegal.

Using war, violence, incarceration, asset forfeiture upon persons for 
producing, distributing and consuming a plant, to correct their free 
choice to use that herb, has much more in common with a witch hunt 
than any kind of justice in a free society. I wonder how stoned Joe 
Walsh was when he dreamed up the album "The Smoker You Drink, The 
Player You Get"?

Colin Walker

New Westminster
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