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MAPTalk-Digest Tuesday, November 2 2010 Volume 10 : Number 053

001 Alan Randell receives the MAP Published Letters Gold Award
    From: Richard Lake <>
002 [FWD] Mark the Date - Exactly One Year From Now - in Los Angeles
    From: Richard Lake <>


Subj: 001 Alan Randell receives the MAP Published Letters Gold Award
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 06:56:39 -0700

Pubdate: Sat, 30 Oct 2010
Source: Burnaby Now, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Alan Randell
Author: Alan Randell
Award: With this published letter Alan Randell receives the MAP 
Published Letters Gold Award for 500 published letters


Dear Editor:

Re: No easy answers to gang violence, Burnaby NOW, Oct. 20.

Why do we continue to ban certain drugs when it is crystal clear to 
all but the most stubborn drug war warriors that not only prohibition 
doesn't work but it causes even more harm - including, of course, 
gang violence - than if the users were left alone.

Here are some of the reasons:

. Politicians feel they need scapegoats:

Human beings are suspicious of strangers or those who are different. 
Thousands of years ago, such feelings may have been a necessary 
factor in survival, but in the modern world, vestiges of this feeling 
still remain and we are all susceptible to urgings from our leaders 
that this or that minority is a deadly threat to society.

The "good" citizens of Salem hanged innocent "witches." Hitler 
consolidated his power by urging the majority to hate the Jews. Our 
present political leadership is merely goose-stepping in Hitler's 
path by distracting the majority away from more serious problems by 
demonizing a vulnerable minority, those who use and/or sell certain 
drugs. Another advantage for the politicians in banning drugs of 
course is that such a strategy calls for bigger and more powerful governments.

. The media needs scapegoats too:

Aside from a few token articles, the media supports any program that 
results in people being punished by the law because that is what 
(they think) sells newspapers and increases TV ratings.

And like the politicians, editors and publishers just love a law that 
enables them to work themselves into a rage about how society is 
going to hell in a hand basket because of a few rotten eggs that 
should be thrown into jail forthwith and the key thrown away.

Prohibition is perfect for this practice because "it is for the children."

. Drug users are a minority:

The prohibition of alcohol both in Canada and in the U.S., like all 
prohibitions, failed to achieve the hoped for results, but, because 
drinkers were the majority, politicians listened and acted to abolish it.

Because the number of marijuana users is increasing, that drug may 
well be legalized before long, but the users and sellers of other 
illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine will have to wait a little 
while longer until their drug is legalized.

Once marijuana is legalized and it no longer possesses the lure of 
the forbidden fruit, you can be sure the popularity of another 
illegal drug will skyrocket until that drug becomes favoured by the 
majority and is legalized and the whole cycle begins again.

. The police favour prohibition:

This is a no brainer, of course. Drug prohibition is the greatest 
police employment booster ever.

Alan Randell, Victoria


Subj: 002 [FWD] Mark the Date - Exactly One Year From Now - in Los Angeles
From: Richard Lake <>
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2010 15:59:06 -0700


The next International Drug Policy Reform conference is 365 days from

Preliminary information available at

Hold the date.  Spread the word!

Many thanks,


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End of MAPTalk-Digest V10 #53

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