Pubdate: Fri, 06 Feb 2015
Source: Alberni Valley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Glacier Community Media
Author: Glenda Barr
Page: 6


Re: "Marijuana legalization could have fearful price," ( Alberni Valley 
Times, Feb. 5)

I'd like to address some of the issues raised by Bruce Hornidge in his
recent letter. Legalization of cannabis would actually alleviate some
of his concerns.

Study after study has concluded that the harms of prohibition far
outweigh any potential harms of cannabis use. The medical effects of
cannabis have been far better documented in the long term than those
of many pharmaceuticals, which are often recalled after discovering
potentially fatal flaws.

Currently, recreational cannabis is marketed by criminals because it
is illegal. Because it fetches a high price, due to the illegality, it
can be a very attractive resource for gangs.

If it were legalized to reflect the costs of growing the plants, the
price would plummet and the profit motivation, as well as the violence
that goes along with the lucrative profits, would be lost.

Legalization and regulation would allow more control over sales to

Illegal substances are not controlled, and it is easier for minors to
obtain illegal drugs than it is for them to purchase alcohol and
tobacco, legal drugs in our society. Of course, this is not perfect, but 
it is far more effective in limiting access for minors. Do we want 
criminals to control the market?

Another very negative aspect of prohibition is that it criminalizes
good citizens. Bad laws contribute to a general disrespect for the
law, with many negative consequences. LEAP (Law Enforcement Against
Prohibition) is a good source of insights gained by those who have
been involved in enforcing these laws.

Far from being a "gateway drug," cannabis has been found to be a
useful tool in overcoming addiction to other drugs, and managing
withdrawal symptoms.

Cannabis is not physically addictive, although, as with many
substances, such as sugar, a minority of users may develop a
psychological dependence.

Glenda Barr

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