Pubdate: Thur, 18 Mar 1999
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Copyright: 1999, The Toronto Star
Author: Scynthia Ross


I applaud the federal government on its medical marijuana announcement.

However, Reform MP Grant Hill raises an important issue. What about
recreational marijuana?

Well, what about it?

Let's face it, there are a lot of drugs that are available to teenagers
looking to get high: alcohol, tobacco, Ecstasy, LSD, magic mushrooms,
marijuana, gasoline and glue to name a few.

I agree teenagers should not take any drugs, but they do and of all the
drugs currently available to teenagers, marijuana could be the safest.

Hill made me think of the monkey experiment. Put a group of monkeys in a
room with a chair. Every time a monkey gets on the chair, spray the whole
group with a fire hose.

After a while the monkeys learn not to get on the chair and to keep their
buddies off that chair.

What was interesting about this experiment was successive generations of
monkeys still kept their buddies off the chair. They did not know why as
they had never been sprayed with the fire hose; they just knew not to get on
that chair because something dreadful would happen.

Hill is telling us not to get on that chair. Why? He does not know why, only
that it's what he's been told.

Prohibition does not work. People will smoke cannabis whether it is legal or

The government has no right to dictate to adults what they can or cannot put
into their bodies.

The powers that be do not care if you kill yourself with booze or tobacco.

Why should they care if adults would rather have a joint instead of a bottle
of beer? Because the United States of America cares and Canada's legislators
don't have the guts to defy the Americans?

The police care. Without prohibition, they would have to deal with real
criminals. Drug dealers care because their tax-free income would be gone.
Pharmaceutical companies care because their drug sales would drop by 50 per
cent in some cases.

Cannabis has been used for thousands of years for spiritual and medical use
among our ancestors. It is a very special herb and it should be treated with
respect. That is the truth we should be telling our children.

Scynthia Ross Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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