Pubdate: Wed, 11 Jun 1997
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Author: Chris Clay

In their June 3 Opinion page article "Say no to drug
legalization", Neil and Philip Seeman have a number of
misconceptions regarding the court challenge I'm involved in
with Professor Alan Young and lawyer Paul Burstein.

The Seemans assume we are trying to decriminalize all drugs.
However, my case focuses specifically on cannabis.

They also imply that illicit drugs are "so terrible for us",
yet they don't make a disctinction between marijuana and
"hard drugs" like crack cocaine and heroin.

In 1972, the Ledain Commission recommended decriminalization
of marijuana after years of research.

Twenty-five years later, many prominent experts reaffirmed
their conclusions during my recent trial, saying marijuana
is relatively safe compared to alcohol and tobacco.

They confirmed that it is neither criminogenic nor
physically additive. Even the government's only witness, Dr.
Harold Kalant from the Addiction Research Foundation, agreed
that marijuana should be decriminalized.

The prohibition of cannabis is irrational and unjustified;
criminalizing non-violent people for smoking flowers offends
basic human rights.

Change is long overdue, and since most politicians won't
even discuss the issue perhaps the courts will finally hear
our cries for justice.

Chris Clay
London, Ont.