Pubdate: Thu, 16 Aug 2001
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2001 Watertown Daily Times
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


What makes Robert Maginnis think that Canada is going to let the U.S. 
dictate drug policy to them? (Canadian Marijuana Madness Could Infect the 
United States, Aug 11.)

The U.S. lost its seat on the 13-member International Narcotics Control 
Board for a reason. Our current drug policy is a failure.

The current global trend is to move away from the American 'do drugs-do 
time' drug policy model, especially as it pertains to marijuana. It is not 
a war on drugs. It is a war on drug users, especially those from 
underprivileged and minority groups, driven by ignorance and fear and waged 
with lies.

It kills the addicts. It destroys respect for the law. It creates huge 
criminal empires. It undermines whole societies. Every year thousands 
defect from the futile struggle to stamp out drugs.

In Canada, strong public and political support now favors removing criminal 
penalties for pot possession. Nearly 50 percent of the public favor 
legalizing it - up from 24 percent in 1990 - and the House of Commons 
recently voted to commence an 18-month inquiry to study the issue. A 
decision on the study is expected November 2002.

Editors of the prestigious Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) 
urged lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana, a position that is also 
advocated by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

A recent study in the respected medical journal the Lancet concluded that 
"moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill effect on health".

According to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 
"2000 Annual Report on the State of the Drugs Problem in the European 
Union". The countries that have decriminalized / legalized have one quarter 
the crime and drug use by youth than that of the U.S.

If cannabis was regulated and taxed, the U.S. would save the $50 billion 
spent per year on the drug war and pick up tens of billions of dollars per 
year in tax revenue.

Larry Seguin  Lisbon, New York
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