Pubdate: Wed, 21 Sep 2016
Source: Expositor, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Brantford Expositor
Author: Werner Broschinski
Page: A4


I believe that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's plan to decriminalize
and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana is correct and
should be applied as well to other drugs, such as cocaine.

I feel this way not because I am in favour of drug use (I wouldn't
dream of using these substances myself ) but because an iron-fisted
"war" to eradicate drug use doesn't work and is counterproductive.
Greater problems are caused by making drugs illegal than by the drugs

The failure of Prohibition in the United States illustrates this. The
abuse of alcohol is not a criminal, but rather a medical or
psychological, problem that only can be solved through the kind of
spiritual regeneration offered by programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the same way, drug use is not a question of criminality but an
illness and similar methods based on a medical paradigm should be used
to deal with it.

But such an enlightened, and ultimately more effective, approach to
drug issues is slow in arriving because there are powerful groups with
a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Big-time drug dealers are making billions of dollars a year, tax-free
and legalization is their worst nightmare. But, ironically, law
enforcement agencies also benefit as they are paid vast amounts of tax
money to fight the first group. This means the good guys and the bad
guys have a mutual interest in the perpetuation of the status quo.

Another group rubbing its hands with glee are politicians, who talk
tough about the war on drugs. In many constituencies, such hard-line,
no pussy-footing around talk gets them elected and re-elected.

Still another group not keen to see changes are those in the business
sector who make money from increased crime: the people that build and
staff prisons; the people that sell burglar alarms and security
services. There's big money in all of that.

And, in a bizarre twist, terrorists benefit from the drug trade
because so much of the primary funding for terrorism around the world
comes from the sale of illegal drugs.

With these considerations in mind, it is my view that Justin Trudeau
is taking a step in the right direction by legalizing marijuana.

Werner Broschinski

- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt