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."
[continues 126 words]
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
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.
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.
Beyond Prohibition Foundation
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
He is wrong on the facts and wrong about the goal of harm
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.
[continues 109 words]
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
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
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
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.
[continues 151 words]
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
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
[continues 68 words]
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".
[continues 164 words]
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.
[continues 177 words]