HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Cutting Through The Haze
Pubdate: Wed, 19 Apr 2000
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2000 The Ottawa Citizen


Stockwell Day is to be commended for confessing that in his distant youth he
not only smoked marijuana, but breathed the smoke in. It's nice to see
someone talk straight on drugs.

Of course, Mr. Day says he quit decades ago, which there is no reason to
doubt. He also says that the youth of today shouldn't try it. He must say
that, of course; after all, part of having a wild youth is having adults
tell you not to.  But there's a legal reason as well. Since no one,
including this newspaper, advocates or should advocate breaking the law, he
couldn't say anything else. Even if he considered marijuana less harmful
than alcohol, he would have to say, "Don't touch that assassin of youth."

Yet it stands to reason that with all that marijuana being grown in Canada,
someone must be smoking it, and there just aren't enough axe murderers to
account for it all. There must be people who smoked marijuana and went on to
be productive citizens. There must even be people who do still smoke it and
are productive. There could even be reformed alcoholics who use it to stay
on the wagon. And there could be people who use it to relax after a hard day
at work, just as some people have a couple of drinks when they get home in
the evening. Maybe it would be OK to smoke the stuff if it weren't illegal.

But until the legislation against marijuana is repealed, we can't have
honest discussion on this point. That isn't the biggest problem with the law
- -- the infringement on individual liberty is the main issue -- but it's one
more reason for getting rid of it. People must be allowed to talk freely
about choices as well as making them freely.

So we thank Mr. Day for exhaling audibly on this subject.
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