Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2001
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2001 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Ron van der Eerden


Who are you going to believe as to whether marijuana use is harmful, the 
police or the  Canadian Medical Association (Police officers launch drive 
against pot decriminalization, May 28)? The CMA says there are minimal 
health risks with moderate use while the Canadian Police  Association 
claims all sorts of risk factors.

The police have a vested interest in keeping marijuana illegal and are 
using decades-old thinking to back them up.

Marijuana is no more a "gateway drug" than caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or 
Valium.  Experimentation with harder drugs is more likely the result of 
cynicism from being lied to by  authorities than the use of pot itself. 
While alcohol and tobacco kill tens of thousands of Canadians each year, we 
never hear about death from marijuana.

More and more, we are learning of health benefits. The police are playing 
the morality card to appeal to the conservative right, but they stand on 
weak ground. What is really immoral is using your tax dollars to boost the 
profits of organized crime and ruining the lives of half a million 
Canadians just to provide jobs for the police and the legal system.

Ron van der Eerden
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