Pubdate: Thu, 22 Sep 2016
Source: Record, The (Kitchener, CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Metroland Media Group Ltd.
Author: Werner Broschinski
Page: A10


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 to other drugs as well - like cocaine, for example.

I feel this way not because I am in favour of drug use, but because an
iron-fisted "war on drugs" attempt to eradicate drug use doesn't work
and is counterproductive. Greater problems are caused by making drugs
illegal than by the effects of the drugs themselves.

The failure of prohibition in the United States in the 1920s
illustrates this. The abuse of alcohol is not a criminal, but rather a
medical or psychological problem that can only be solved through the
kind of spiritual regeneration offered by programs like Alcoholics
Anonymous, for example.

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 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. 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.

Politicians talk tough about the war on drugs. In many constituencies
such hard-line talk gets them elected and re-elected.

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.

Justin Trudeau is taking a step in the right direction by legalizing

Werner Broschinski

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