Pubdate: Sat, 22 May 1999
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Copyright: 1999, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Gil Puder, Police Officer

Advice from B.C.

Vancouver -- Normally a British Columbian would be disinterested in an
Ontario election, yet Premier Mike Harris's remarks on criminal justice
matters demand a response.

Denying welfare to drug addicts ignores the huge proportion who are mentally
ill and simply unable to stop. Such a policy would only increase crime,
generate violence among desperate people and cause migration to other provinces.

Furthermore, the boondoggle of forcing treatment upon people has proved
enormously expensive and ineffective in jurisdictions where it's been tried.

Rejecting the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police suggestion regarding
decriminalized marijuana possession allowed the Ontario Premier to side with
the Toronto Police Association, whose president Craig Bromell quickly
peddled the scientifically laughable "gateway" theory.

An exhaustive March, 1999, report from the prestigious U.S. Institute of
Medicine finds that rather than pot causing hard-drug use, it's the criminal
law that drives people to sources of more dangerous substances.

Police Officer,
Gil Puder

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