RSS 2.0RSS 1.0Tousaw, Kirk (Author)
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1 CN BC: PUB LTE: Tory Crime Agenda About Enforcing A FailedWed, 08 Jun 2011
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:06/08/2011

Re: 'Proposed crime laws aim for traffickers, not users' (Daily News, June 4)

Letter-writer James Corder is apparently willing to gobble up government talking points about the proposed crime bills.

He may not be a fan of the "wacky tobaccy" or of letter writer Russell Barth, but Barth is much more knowledgeable about the impact of mandatory jail sentences than is Corder.

Virtually every expert who has studied this issue (including those in Canada's Justice Ministry) conclude that mandatory minimum laws are utter failures that do more harm than good, prevent nobody from buying or selling drugs and disproportionately impact street level drug sellers -- most of whom are also drug users selling only to offset the high cost of currently illegal drugs. In other words, users not traffickers "peddling stuff to kids."

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2 CN BC: PUB LTE: RCMP Can Check Licence Status Of GrowersFri, 25 Feb 2011
Source:Cowichan Valley Citizen (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:26 Added:02/25/2011

The RCMP's suggestion that its members don't know who has a medical cannabis production licence until they are at the door with a warrant is false.

For years police have been able to, and regularly do, call a 24 hour hotline operated by Health Canada to check licence status on a person or residence.

If members don't do this, they are remiss in their duties. Don't blame the sick for the RCMP's decision to waste time on medical marijuana.

Kirk Tousaw

Mill Bay

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3 CN BC: PUB LTE: Regulate CannabisFri, 14 May 2010
Source:Surrey Leader (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:33 Added:05/14/2010

Re: "Surrey grow-op tactics not for us," The Leader, May 7.

Criminologist Daryl Plecas has been a paid shill for the RCMP. Any "study" he conducts should be taken with a grain of salt.

That aside, of course any decrease in cannabis production in Surrey is compensated for elsewhere - that is basic supply and demand.

Our only real choice about cannabis is whether we want it grown and sold by licensed farmers and storekeeper or whether we want to leave it as is.

I choose regulation over black markets.

Kirk Tousaw,

Executive Director

Beyond Prohibition Foundation

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4 CN BC: PUB LTE: Harm Reduction Efforts Work, Prohibition OfTue, 06 Apr 2010
Source:Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:50 Added:04/06/2010

Re: Addressing addiction requires discussion, Letters, April 1.

Brian Blood thinks harm reduction measures are a waste of money because they don't reduce drug use, property crime or prostitution.

He is wrong on the facts and wrong about the goal of harm reduction.

The evidence about harm reduction is in - it does provide an access point to addiction services which leads to reduced drug use and therefore reduced criminality.

But even if it did not, so what?

The goal of harm reduction is to save lives and reduce the spread of disease. And it achieves those goals very, very well.

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5 CN BC: PUB LTE: Definitive Case For Legal, Regulated MarketsSat, 03 Apr 2010
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:29 Added:04/04/2010

Colin Maugham, shill for the multibillion-dollar prohibition industry, says drug prohibition should be kept because we have lowered cigarette smoking rates and criminals will be criminals ( Letters, March 29). Is he aware that cigarettes are legal? If they weren't, you can be sure their sale would provide gangs with additional billions.

Cigarettes are the paradigmatic case for legal, regulated markets. Although dangerous, they are sold by legitimate businesspeople to adults in a tightly controlled market, with extra taxation used to defray the known health care costs.

Kirk Tousaw Executive director, Beyond Prohibition Foundation, Vancouver

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6 CN AB: PUB LTE: Saving LivesSun, 07 Mar 2010
Source:Calgary Herald (CN AB) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:Alberta Lines:43 Added:03/08/2010

Re: "Insite doesn't do enough to change addicts," Susan Martinuk, Opinion, March 5. Susan Martinuk seems to think the point of harm reduction strategies like Insite is to "change addicts" into, presumably, non-addicts. She misses the point entirely and, again, posits a false choice between harm reduction and treatment.

Insite is there to save lives and prevent the spread of disease. It achieves those goals remarkably well. As a tangential benefit, but not a goal, it also provides addicts with contact with social services, including treatment options. It does that remarkably well, also.

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7 CN BC: PUB LTE: The Fire Chief Is Wrong On Both CountsTue, 02 Feb 2010
Source:Ladysmith Chronicle (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:40 Added:02/04/2010

The fire chief wants to decrease the risk from legal "grow-ops" and thinks that disclosing the locations will do it. He is wrong on both counts.

First, the idea that growing this plant is somehow inherently risky is false - pure grow-opaganda. Cannabis is just as safe to grow as tomatoes if done properly.

Second, disclosure of private health information is not going to change growing practices or make anyone safer. It will likely result in legal growers being harassed .. and exposed them to the risk of theft.

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8 CN BC: PUB LTE: Only Sensible Approach To Pot Is To Legalize ItMon, 11 Jan 2010
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:01/11/2010

Re: 'Paul Walton: Canada's pot conundrum ' (Daily News, Jan. 5)

Paul Walton says that people that want to end marijuana prohibition should "get a life."

In fact, we want to save lives.

Marijuana prohibition causes harm, and lots of it. It creates illegal markets that are, in the words of the Fraser Institute, a "gift of revenue" to organized crime. Prohibition also ruins countless young lives by equating normal youthful experimenting with criminal conduct carrying with it -- for more than 50,000 Canadians each year -- lifelong criminal records for simple possession. Prohibition is also solely to blame for the much decried (and much exaggerated) problem of dangerous suburban "grow-ops".

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9 CN BC: PUB LTE: Marijuana Use Is Safer Than Drinking AlcoholTue, 05 Jan 2010
Source:Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC) Author:Tousaw, Kirk Area:British Columbia Lines:53 Added:01/09/2010

Re: 'Pot growers, sellers are breaking the law' (Daily News, Jan. 2)

Susan Schleppe's letter about jail sentences for growing marijuana was so ill informed and illogical that I hardly know where to start.

First, she's wrong about what the Senate did to Bill C-15 (mandatory jail for drug offences). The mandatory sentences remain in place for growing even one cannabis plant if the garden is in a rental or poses a potential safety risk to the public.

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