Pubdate: 23 Nov1999
Source: Comox Valley Echo (CN BC)
Contact:  407-D Fifth Street Courtenay, B.C. V9N 1J7
Fax: 250-334-3172
Author:   Colin Mayes


The scourge of drug abuse is an ongoing problem. Regardless of how
determined we are to wipe it out, it persists by defying us. Because we
have been conditioned to believe that people will conform from fear of
punishment rather than relaxing the law we are faced with a reaction of
resentment intended to control their private life style.

The desire to break from the status-quo is understandable, as many of the
arcane laws are made to serve a select number by restricting the majority.
Thus the elite are protected from immoral or unethical behavior, not being
exposed by the media, which they indirectly control. Because many of us
(the younger generation in particular) become resentful, objecting to the
traditional old ways, it only exacerbates the problem by being
confrontational. The old theory of fight or flee has not as yet died. But
it is weakening. It is understandable how many believe the only way to cure
a sickness is literally to operate - cut it out. If there is no compliance
or support with a rule or law by the majority, it fails on its own.

The drug trade will remain a lucrative business as long as we treat it as a
crime. Allow drugs to be easy to obtain and they lose their value, both to
the producer as well as the would be consumer. What is our government doing
in the alcohol and tobacco business. They also get their cut from
addiction. Is this not a conflict of interest? If it's illegal to grow pot,
then it ought to be illegal to sell booze and smokes. But profit comes
first - no pot profit, ban as it as illegal.

The point I wish to make is, that in making laws that deny the individual
to treat himself or herself in an abusive way will not cure them even if
they are thrown in jail. Punishment is no deterrent, and never will be. We
are all to some degree responsible to one another. Making judgments of
someone who failed to live up to the norm is a lose-lose game. We can
extinguish the life of a murderer but not the feelings that made him lose

Drug addicts are only a threat when they don't have the money to get their
fix. Give them all the drugs they need. They'll do one of two things - quit
or overdose. But stop fighting them.

Colin Mayes
Union Bay
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