Pubdate: Fri, 29 Aug 2014
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Re: Smoking is bad for you, period - Aug. 25

Like any drug, marijuana can be harmful if abused. Criminal records 
are nonetheless inappropriate as health interventions and ineffective 
as deterrents.

Marijuana prohibition does not make the plant any safer. It compounds 
the dangers of marijuana by granting a monopoly on marijuana 
distribution to drug cartels that sell methamphetamine, cocaine and 
heroin. Marijuana prohibition is a gateway drug policy.

Now that neighbouring Washington state and Colorado have legalized 
marijuana, Ottawa can no longer claim Canada must uphold marijuana 
prohibition in order to maintain good U.S. relations. In 2002, an 
exhaustive Canadian Senate study rightly concluded that marijuana is 
relatively benign, prohibition contributes to organized crime, and 
law enforcement efforts have little impact on patterns of use.

Consider the experience of the former land of the free and current 
world leader in per capita incarceration. The U.S. has almost double 
the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is 
legally available.

The only winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels and 
shameless tough-on-drugs politicians who deliberately confuse the 
tremendous collateral damage caused by drug prohibition with a 
comparatively harmless plant.

Robert Sharpe,

Policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom