Re: The editorial Drug law a bummer (June 10).
Having no economic, environmental, foreign policy or social plans,
the Conservatives are using crime to pander to their myopic,
visceral, misinformed and punishment-happy voter base.
Bill C-15, for example, appears designed specifically to increase
crime. Mandatory sentences will scare off the mom-and-pop pot
growers, who represent direct market competition to the gangsters.
With the little guys out of the game, the big guys will get more
business and profit. This will lead to more violence, which the
police and government will use as justification for even more
draconian laws, more cops with bigger budgets and more powers, and
further suppression of our civil rights and liberties.
The media-addled public is being duped once again.
A district court judge dismissed felony drug charges Wednesday
against a Madison Heights couple embroiled in one of the first major
tests of the state's medical marijuana law.
Calling it "one of the worst pieces of legislation I've ever seen in
my life," 43rd District Judge Robert J. Turner criticized multiple
ambiguities in the voter-initiated law, including how much marijuana
a supposed medical user could possess and still be free from
prosecution. Under the law, there are several scenarios in which a
person can be in valid possession of a various amount of marijuana.
[continues 254 words]
In 1991, an editorial in the British Journal of Addiction condemned
the inordinate amount of resources devoted to drug law enforcement,
and compared the war on drugs to the witch hunts of the past.
It's an apt comparison, since drug warriors around the world are
influenced more by myths, stereotypes and propaganda than by solid
evidence. And when confronted by evidence that conflicts with the
myths, stereotypes and propaganda of the drug war, the warriors seek
to bury it rather than address it head on.
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Other Caregivers Worried About Theft After Boulder Robbery
BOULDER, Colo. -- Due to tight privacy regulations built into
Colorado law, few people know the names of medical-marijuana
caregivers or how many people are certified to provide the drug in the state.
In fact, the law makes it so difficult to identify the people who can
legally provide marijuana that the Boulder County Drug Task Force
doesn't know how many certified marijuana caregivers are in the
Boulder County region. That has officers spending considerable time
investigating pot-growing operations purporting to be legal;
double-checking caregiver certificates and patient cards; and making
sure caregivers don't have more than the allowed amount of marijuana,
said task force Sgt. Barry Hartkopp.
[continues 708 words]
To the Editor:
As a former prosecutor who did his time in the war on drugs (Brooklyn
in the golden age of crack, late '80s, early '90s), I agree
wholeheartedly with Nicholas D. Kristof's views that the war on drugs
is over ("Drugs Won the War," column, June 14).
In addition to Mr. Kristof's three main points, let me add two of my
own. First, abandoning the war on drugs will provide a tremendous
opportunity to appropriately intervene in the lives of people who are
abusing drugs. Forcing an addict to register with the government and
be subject to attempts to influence his or her behavior in exchange
for access to the drug of choice is appropriate; kicking in the door
and arresting the person are inappropriate.
[continues 126 words]
To the Editor:
As every physician knows, alcohol is a very addictive drug that truly
destroys lives. Death and disease from alcohol and alcohol withdrawal
are daily occurrences on a vast scale. In my medical practice, I have
never seen someone get sick or die from marijuana, nor go into withdrawal.
It utterly defies common sense to legalize alcohol but not marijuana.
The war on drugs is nonsensical. It only serves to generate enormous
cash profits to criminals and wastes precious resources -- our money
and the lives of law enforcement officials.
To the Editor:
Drugs have not "won the war." With a comprehensive anti-drug strategy
in place, involving foreign policy, enforcement, education, treatment,
prevention and media, America's overall drug use has declined almost
by half in the past three decades -- from 14.1 percent of the
population in 1979 to 8.3 percent now who used drugs in the past
month. In addition, cocaine use, including crack -- the source of much
of the former record-high violent crime numbers -- is down 70 percent.
Want to go back?
[continues 207 words]
To the Editor:
Nicholas D. Kristof has it exactly right. When alcohol prohibition
ended, the violent bootleggers had the financial rug pulled out from
under them. We need to do the same to the Mexican cartels and the
To the Editor:
Nicholas D. Kristof makes clear the price paid for the wrongheaded
"war on drugs." He notes Norm Stamper's experience as a young police
officer in San Diego in 1967 thinking that he could be "doing real
police work" rather than breaking down the doors of marijuana users.
I would argue that the failed war on drugs is worse than useless; it
has undermined the rule of law. In 1967 I was a young college student
encountering the drug culture on an East Coast campus. I had the
experience of having my friends arrested and getting midnight calls to
bail them out. At that time it was even illegal, where I lived, merely
to be in the presence of someone smoking pot.
[continues 66 words]
To the Editor:
Thanks to Nicholas D. Kristof for saying again what so many have said
for years about the war on drugs. Given the evidence that the war on
drugs is a futile, tragic disaster, one can only paraphrase what
Winston Churchill said about democracy: Decriminalization of drugs is
the worst idea, except for all the others.
Reward-for-rehab plan would offer inmates incentives: Van
Sex offenders, drug addicts and alcoholics serving time in prisons
could be rewarded with money if they take part in treatment programs,
says Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan.
He raised the prospect of incentive pay Tuesday as he announced that
the government is taking legislative steps to ensure prisoners take
responsibility for completing their rehabilitation plans.
"One of the aspects of our legislation is to allow for greater
incentives, to encourage inmates to carry out their correctional plan,
and that may take the form of enhanced prison pay," Van Loan told a
[continues 211 words]
When up to 40 per cent of patients using emergency room services are
there because of addiction to pain pills, having a methadone clinic in
the city makes perfect sense to Bill Leslie.
Leslie, director of the Central Alberta Methadone Program, already
knew the need existed because he saw at least 100 Lethbridge clients
at methadone clinics in Medicine Hat and Calgary. When he learned
space was available at the Northside Medical Clinic, he and his team
went into action. Leslie oversees methadone clinics in Red Deer,
Calgary and Medicine Hat.
[continues 574 words]
Madison Heights -- Declaring Michigan's medical marijuana act the
"worst piece of legislation" he has ever seen, an Oakland County
judge on Wednesday dismissed felony drug charges against a couple who
say they grew pot for medical reasons.
Torey Clark and Bob Redden jubilantly walked out of the Madison
Heights courtroom of 43rd District Court Judge Robert Turner . The
judge had heard testimony from the physician who qualified the couple
to use medical marijuana under the state's new law.
Clark and Redden were charged with growing marijuana after Madison
Heights police raided their home March 30 -- days before the medical
pot law took effect -- and found 21 plants. With prior drug
convictions, they faced up to 14 years in prison.
[continues 191 words]