Pubdate: Mon, 02 Oct 2000
Date: 10/02/2000
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Author: Dean Reimer

The reason drugs suck the life out of people is largely because of
their illegal nature: Addicts are reluctant to get the help they need.
Unfortunately, I think it will be a long time before the U.S. admits
defeat in the drug war, and it is not practical for Canada to legalize
or decriminalize drugs on its own (with the possible exception of marijuana).

Since Canada does not have the climate to support a legal industry
growing coca or opium poppies, the product would still have to come
from places like Colombia. And if it can get into Canada legally,
smuggling operations will simply move to the Canada/U.S. border. I
would rather not see a patrolled fence along the world's longest
undefended border.

With so much money at stake, the kingpins of the drug industry have a
vested interest in keeping the trade illegal. It is entirely possible
organized crime will take steps to ensure that no one wants to be in
the legitimate drug retailing business, keeping distribution on the
black market. However, if a fraction of the resources used in the drug
war were used to fight organized crime, this could be dealt with.

Dean Reimer,