Pubdate: Wed, 22 Mar 2000
Source: Tab, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2000 Ardee Publications Ltd.
Contact:  1277 Cedar Ave., Trail, B.C., Canada V1R 4B9
Fax: (250) 368-6005
Author: Norm Siefken


Dear Editor:

Several recent articles in the print media have suggested that the war
on marijuana is escalating.

I wish to express my outrage over this irresponsible waste of scarce
resources.  At this very moment thousands of patients with cancer and
heart disease are being forced to wait for essential surgeries due to
inadequate health care funding.  Canadians are being told that the
money just isn't there, yet there is plenty of cash for "green teams",
snitches, prisons, helicopters and the other excesses of a
never-ending war on marijuana.

It costs about $65,000 a year to keep a marijuana inmate in prison. 
That money could pay for a lot of life-saving operations.

The government wants everyone to pretend that marijuana is a dangerous
drug, but the scientific evidence has been telling a much different

Canadians who choose marijuana instead of alcohol have made a very
healthy choice.  Even The Lancet - a leading medical journal - has
reported that marijuana use is not harmful to health.  We now know
that ordinary table salt is more toxic than marijuana.

There is no longer any rational argument which explains why our
government continues this mindless crusade against a benign plant and
the decent adults who smoke it.

Millions of Canadian adults prefer marijuana instead of alcohol, and
it is time for the government to start showing some respect.  The time
has come to call a truce in this unpopular war.

Norm Siefken,
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