Pubdate: Wed, 11 Apr 2001
Source: Powell River Peak (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 Peak Publishing Ltd.
Author: Dana Larsen
Note: Dana Larsen is the Deputy Leader, BC Marijuana Party, and the 
Candidate for Powell River-Sunshine Coast
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


This letter is in response to the anti-pot diatribe from the cabal at Let's 
Educate About Drugs (LEAD) ["Stop marijuana", April 4]

The idea that "marijuana is bad and so we must ban it" is based upon 
nothing but ignorance.  More people die each year skydiving or rock 
climbing than do smoking pot, yet there is no demand to ban these 
recreational hobbies.  Instead, we regulate these activities, ensure that 
they are as safe as possible, and let people enjoy them, which is the same 
policy we should adopt towards cannabis.

Spurious claims about "marijuana addiction" just reveal the misinformed 
status of the writers.  Every major study into cannabis has found that it 
is non-addictive and essentially harmless.  Besides, the idea that we need 
police raiding homes and destroying families as some sort of public health 
measure is a ludicrous assault on personal freedom and common sense.

Their letter mentioned that heroin and cocaine also come from plants. How 
true.  In Colombia, indigenous peoples have used the coca plant safely for 
thousands of years.  They consider it sacred, and use it for spiritual, 
social, and practical purposes.

However, the US has recently spent over a billion dollars on helicopters 
and toxic herbicides like Round-Up, which has been sprayed over many tens 
of thousands of acres of farmland, in an effort to eradicate coca plants 
from the world.  The New York Times, Washington Post, and other major media 
have reported how these toxic herbicides often miss their targets, dousing 
schools, churches, and food crops.

Residents of the Sunshine Coast know all too well the harm that can be done 
by the US drug-war military machine.  Helicopter raids are already a part 
of life for many in our community.  If drug warriors like those at LEAD 
have their way,  those helicopters may one day carry more than just police 
hell-bent on stealing our livelihood, they may start spraying toxic death 
upon our land as well.

Let's just say no to drug war excess, and embrace the new thinking and 
innovative ideas needed to create a better future for us all.

Dana Larsen
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager