Pubdate: Sat, 10 Aug 2013
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2013 The Toronto Star
Author: Warren Dalton


Re: Legalizing pot, endorsing stupidity, Aug. 7

Is this column about the inappropriateness of legalizing pot or the 
shortcomings of Justin Trudeau as the Liberal leader? Trudeau is "the 
political embodiment of stupid?" Because Trudeau has an alternative 
to the time-consuming expense of policing the use and possession of 
pot, Rosie DiManno has chosen to ridicule Justin Trudeau by 
suggesting that "maybe he should fire up a reefer and ponder it some 
more," in reference the fact that his thinking about dope has "evolved."

I have never tried pot and never had the inclination to do so. 
Quitting "regular"cigarettes was, for me, difficult enough. The smell 
of this substance is nauseating to me when I have had the misfortune 
to be near someone who was smoking it.

But I think that Mr. Trudeau has an idea worth considering. By not 
having pot legalized, we are ensuring that some young people, who may 
be in possession of this drug when stopped by police, could be be 
saddled with a criminal record that will affect their future employment.

The financial savings alone would merit the legalization of pot. The 
police would be free to pursue more important criminal matters. The 
load on the court system would be lightened. There would be more room 
in our jails for "real" criminals.

Finally, if legalized, the tax revenues could be comparable to those 
collected by the LCBO. Could we actually see a PCBO, or an MCBO?

"What about driving whilst high?" Ms DiManno asks. I believe that 
some police forces are now in possession of a "marijuana version of 
the breathalyzer" that was developed in Sweden. It can detect 12 
different controlled substances including methamphetamine, cocaine, 
heroin, morphine and of course, marijuana. Apparently, this test is 
equally as accurate as blood and urine tests. Therefore motorists 
using legalized marijuana would be subject to the same restrictions 
as motorists using legal alcohol.

Unauthorized growing of marijuana would remain a criminal offense, 
the same as bootlegging and cigarette smuggling.

I agree with Ms DiManno's final statement that "Canada already has 
way too much stupidity," but I don't agree that Justin Trudeau's idea 
of marijuana decriminalization is a part of that stupidity.

Warren Dalton, Scarborough
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