Pubdate: Thu, 25 Feb 2016
Source: Sarnia Journal, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Sarnia Journal
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


Sir: Re: Will Canada 'go to pot'?

Like many newcomers to cannabis policy, guest columnist Nadine Wark is
under the misapprehension that we are arguing over whether or not
cannabis should exist, rather than discussing what might be the
optimal - not Utopian - regulatory model for minimizing the costs and
maximizing the benefits of cannabis in society.

While it is true that preventing sales to minors is difficult, and
certain to fall short, Canadian teens report that cannabis is easier
to obtain than alcohol, and they are about twice as likely to try
cannabis than try tobacco before they graduate from high school.

Yes, cannabis has become more potent under prohibition, in much the
same way that spirits and moonshine became more popular than beer and
wine during alcohol prohibition.

Under prohibition, opium became heroin, coca became crack and khat
became "bath salts."

While it is true that many consumers of "hard drugs" tried cannabis
first, cannabis is an economic substitute for alcohol and other drugs,
such that when cannabis use goes up, drinking and other drug use goes
down, along with the related social costs, such as impaired driving,
crime, homicide, suicide, addiction, domestic assault, sexual assault,
unplanned pregnancies, overdose deaths and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The more dangerous the substance, the less it makes sense to abdicate
control of it to criminals and teenagers who sell myriad drugs of
unknown provenance, potency and purity, on commission, tax free, to
anyone of any age, anytime, anywhere, no questions asked. We have more
control over cat food than we do the so-called "controlled drugs and


Matthew M. Elrod

Victoria, B.C.
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MAP posted-by: Matt