Pubdate: Wed, 13 Jan 2016
Source: Sault Star, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 The Sault Star
Author: John R. Hunt - North Bay Nugget
Page: A6


Along with millions of law-abiding Canadians, I may have to make an
agonizing decision this year. The federal Liberals have promised to
legalize marijuana. If they do, will I try it?

I have avoided the stuff for at least 60 years. I covered courts and
crime for nearly 30 years and knew many law enforcers. One cannot run
on both sides of the street at the same time so I came down hard on
the side of law and order and resisted pot's temptations.

When marijuana first appeared in northeastern Ontario, magistrates and
judges fulminated, Crown attorneys seethed and the police worked over
time to protect the public from this new and dangerous evil demon weed.

I wrote hundreds of words attacking pot and now wonder if many of them
were true. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that the stuff would
become legal.

The courts were tough on drug dealers. I once wrote a slightly
sarcastic story about three of them. The trio accosted me in downtown

Things were beginning to look nasty when a friendly OPP officer honked
his horn and waved as he went by, and the trio became scared and ran
away. I met the ring leader some time later, by then he was wanted by
the RCMP and the OPP. He was coming out of the men's washroom in Union
Station in Toronto and he recognized me. I told a rather wooden
railway policeman that a wanted man was in the station, but he said he
couldn't do anything without a poster.

I am constantly amazed at the number of times I have met honest and
hardworking folk who cheerfully admit they occasionally enjoy a puff
or two of pot.

Thousands of people have been convicted for possessing pot and
suffered the consequences. Will they now seek compensation for being
treated so unjustly in the past?

There has been a recent spike in the number of people dying from
overdoses of both legal and illegal drugs. The whole drug scene is a
mess. Would it be different if marijuana had been accepted 60 years

One thing bothers me and I am sure it concerns the people at the
Liquor Control Board of Ontario who are reportedly eagerly waiting to
retail pot. Will marijuana replace Scotch? It could be the saddest or
the highest of times.
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