Who's winning the war on drugs? Not us. There are renewed calls to
legalize various drugs, especially marijuana. If you read The Ottawa
Citizen you'll have seen Dan Gardner's articles, which make a strong,
reasoned case for decriminalizing illicit drugs.
One of the main points raised is that by making drugs illegal, we
have created a lucrative criminal enterprise, one that draws in
otherwise law-abiding citizens. Joe the Mechanic or Jane the
Housewife, hard up for money to pay their mortgage, decide to grow a
little weed on Grandpa Elmer's old farm. Joe and Jane smoke a joint
themselves once in awhile, so they see no real harm in it. Yeah, it's
illegal. But that's why the money is good for those who take the risk
of growing it and selling it.
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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different
- - Albert Einstein
To the Editor:
The North American "War on Drugs" has been a dismal failure since it
was declared by Richard Nixon in 1971. Jurisdictions with the harshest
penalties have the highest drug use rates. Countless so-called
"criminals" languish in jails although they represent no harm except
(arguably) to themselves. Nonsensical criminal records impede
employment, trade and travel. Mind-boggling amounts of resources go
into the investigation, prosecution and punishment of people for
committing no crime other than choosing drugs of which the government
does not currently approve. Other acts that are truly crimes may be
committed by people in the "drug trade," but those criminal acts
result not from the use of drugs, but from the prohibition,which
drives those people into a black market. Police, in order to
investigate, enter into unholy alliances that would make the average
citizen cringe. In the meantime, virtually none of the avowed goals of
this war have been achieved and, as in all conflicts, the poor have
suffered the worst.
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Community Of Pikwakanagan Backs War On Drugs Task Force
In an effort to raise awareness and promote the efforts of the
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan's War on Drugs Task Force, a walk through
the community took place last Wednesday afternoon. Children carrying
placards with messages like "Our children our future" and "Say no to
drugs" joined Chief Kirby Whiteduck, councillors, members of the task
force and the community at large in the walk from the health centre to
the community centre, a distance of more than two kilometres.
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Did you know hemp played a vital role in the settlement of North America
and helped win the Second World War?
Many people don't, but now with the help of a new video on YouTube more
than 1,400 do.
Robbie Anderman and Errol Francis of the Hemp Workers' Cooperative, based
in the Killaloe area, put together "Hemp - The Environmentally Sustainable
Alternative, Part One: Hemp History 101."
They worked countless hours - Anderman figures they both put in more than
30 hours researching and editing the roughly nine-minute film.
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'I Love My Country. It's Getting Less And Less Free And It's Scary,'
Says Rick Reimer
With another day in the spotlight over, Rick Reimer says he's not
about to lie down.
Two weeks ago a civil suit, launched by Reimer, was thrown out of
court with Ottawa Justice C. McKinnon saying that Reimer "was the
author of his own misfortune."
Reimer claims he has everyone's interests in mind.
"It's not publicity," says Reimer, who's been lighting up joints on a
daily basis since he was 13. "What I want to do is to make sure
people stand up for their right."
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'Killaloe Rastaman' Plans To Contest Public Intoxication Charge
Rick Reimer says he will now personally be entering a not-guilty plea to a
public intoxication charge laid against him last month at the Second Annual
After being invited to attend a pro-marijuana demonstration in Halifax
Sept. 10, Reimer made the decision to appear in court two days later and
has asked that his trial be scheduled for the same day.
"Since I will already be in the province, I will appear at court at 9 a.m.,
on Monday Sept. 12," Reimer said, adding that he and other medical
exemptees will be openly smoking pot outside the court.
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The local drug problem in the Valley is not going away anytime soon.
According to local addiction counsellors, prescription drug abusers are
more determined than that.
Concerned members of the community gathered at the Madawaska Valley
District High School library this past Monday night to discuss youth drug
"It's not going to go away, it's a coping mechanism," Chris Cancade,
Renfrew County Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Assessment/Referral Service
addiction counsellor, said at the meeting.
"You're still going to have kids using drugs."
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Parents, students and medical staff in the community gathered to combat the
developing drug problem in the area head on.
This past Wednesday evening, a Madawaska Valley District High School
(MVDHS) parent council meeting was the staging ground for the first battle
against drug abuse in the area. A larger than usual crowd came out to
discuss their concerns about the local increase in drug use, especially at
the high school.
"In the last month or so, I won't say there has been an increase use of
drugs, but many suspensions have been drug related," Mike Shulist, MVDHS
principal, said to open the discussion.
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