Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
Pubdate: Thursday 18 June 1998


I'm embarrassed when a parliamentarian from our part of the country stoops
to fearmongering, as Revenue Minister Herb Dhaliwal did with his comments
on decriminalization of marijuana. His "gateway'' theory, that marijuana
leads to hard drug use, has been repeatedly refuted by scientific research,
and is simply an unethical scare tactic.

Being a politician, he might want to review the 1997 Angus Reid poll
showing that 63 per cent of British Columbians favour decriminalization.
When that body of voters realizes that Mr. Dhaliwal's department is taking
their money to prohibit cannabis (which courts are regularly finding not to
be a public health concern), he might be out of a job.

Forcing people into a black market is what exposes people to dangerous
substances, and enriches the criminal gangs that Mr. Dhaliwal's department
simply can't compete with. I hope Mr. Dhaliwal proves to be a good
accountant, because on the marijuana issue he is merely plumbing the depths
of his own ignorance.

Gil Puder, Vancouver 

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Checked-by: Mike Gogulski