Pubdate: Wed, 17 Jan 2001
Source: Grand Forks Gazette (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Sterling Newspapers
Contact:  Box 700, 7330 2nd St., Grand Forks, B.C. V0H 1H0
Fax: 1-250-442-3336
Author: James T. Moore


Who is benefitting the most in Canada's war on drugs?  Well it certainly is 
not Canadian families, their children, or society in general.

Why has the drug problem increased in every city, town and village in 
Canada? Why has the problem gotten worse and keeps on getting worse? Almost 
certainly because we are doing something really wrong.

Why aren't we changing our ways of combatting the drug problem? Almost 
certainly because, besides corrupt or uncaring politicians, corrupt or 
uncaring officials, money-launderers, high-level business importers, 
mid-level distributors and low-level street sellers, there are other 
powerful sectors of society that benefit very handsomely from the war on drugs.

They are: police, Customs, the justice department, prison systems, publicly 
supported lawyers, the social welfare department and the enormous web of 
services related to and benefitting from the present drug situation.  They 
may mean well, but the fact is they have an interest in maintaining the 
status quo. These public sector beneficiaries have all greatly increased 
their share of the public purse at the expense of basic services.  In fact, 
the amount of money expended on the war on drugs and related social 
services would probably fix the Vancouver transit system, rebuild our 
highways and health system and provided free tuition for all B.C.  college 
and university students.

To make our cities, towns and villages and our children safe again, we must 
medicinalize hard drugs and thereby decriminalize the addict.  We must 
provide drugs of choice available through legitimate channels in every 
community to those addicted.  The drugs should be prescribed by a physician 
and made available in safe clinics where the drug of choice is 
administered.  By decriminalizing the addict, that person does not have to 
resort to crime and prostitution to provide for their habit.  This would 
greatly reduce crime rates at all levels.

The incentive to import drugs into Canada would become almost non-existent, 
the result being a great reduction in high-level crime and money 
laundering. Medicinalizing drugs will force the drug cartels to seek other 
markets in other countries.  Medicinalizing drugs means safer communities 
for Canadian families.  It means that down the road, government funding can 
be reduced in these areas and redirected to health, education and 

What about marijuana? Like tobacco, marijuana is a filthy, stinking, 
health-destroying habit that is pervasive and available everywhere, 
including in our schools.  Both tobacco and marijuana should be available 
on demand at certain outlets on showing ID, provided by a special 
health-insurance policy provider, paid for by tobacco and marijuana producers.

Will our way of dealing with drugs ever change? It could if you elect MLAs 
who have foresight and are willing to try something different, something 
compassionate, something sensible.  Talk to your candidates who are going 
to run for office.  Will the federal government ever do something about 
this problem? Ask your just-elected member.

James T. Moore Oliver
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