Pubdate: Wed, 29 Aug 2001
Source: Goldstream Gazette (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Goldstream Gazette
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding the July 18 article on RCMP efforts to target local marijuana 
grow operations, Canadian tax dollars are being wasted on anti-drug 
strategies that only make marijuana growing more profitable.

The drug war's distortion of basic supply and demand dynamics makes an 
easily grown weed literally worth its weight in gold.

With money practically growing on trees any operations destroyed will be 

And let's not kid ourselves about protecting children. The thriving black 
market has no controls for age, making it easier for teenagers to buy 
illegal drugs than beer.

Politicians need to stop worrying about the message drug policy reform 
sends to children and start thinking about the children themselves.

There are cost-effective alternatives to the failed drug war.

In Europe, the Netherlands has successfully reduced overall drug use by 
replacing marijuana prohibition with regulation. Separating the hard and 
soft drug markets and establishing age controls for marijuana has proven 
more effective than zero tolerance.

As the most popular illicit drug in Canada, marijuana provides the black 
market contacts that introduce users to drugs like heroin. This "gateway" 
is the direct result of a fundamentally flawed policy.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol, it makes no 
sense to waste tax dollars on policies that finance organized crime groups 
like the Hells Angels and facilitate the use of deadly hard drugs.

I regret not having Canadian statistics for you.

If you are interested in a dated comparison of Dutch vs. U.S. rates of drug 
use one can be found at More 
recent figures can be found at Annual 
causes of death in the U.S.:

- -Robert Sharpe, program officer, The Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy 
Foundation, Washington, D.C.
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D