Pubdate: Sat, 25 Jul 2015
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2015 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Robert Sharpe
Page: A14


Now that neighbouring U.S. states have legalized marijuana, Ottawa can
no longer claim Canada must uphold marijuana prohibition in order to
maintain good U.S. relations ( Conservatives losing the war on drugs,
Editorial, July 22).

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has a chronic case of reefer madness
best cured with medical marijuana - the drug's not nearly as dangerous
(or exciting) as Harper seems to think.

Consider the experience of Canada's southern neighbour. Despite a
history of zero tolerance, the U.S. has nearly double the rate of
lifetime marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana has been
legally available for decades.

If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a
catastrophic failure. If the goal is to subsidize violent drug
cartels, marijuana prohibition is a grand success. The drug war
distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little

Harper's war on Canadians who prefer marijuana to martinis has no
basis in science. The war on cannabis consumers is a failed cultural
inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign.

Robert Sharpe

Policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy Arlington, Va.
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