Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jul 2002
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Mack Mcleod
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor; headline by newshawk

Letter Of The Day


RE "SMOKING out the law," (editorial, July 21): I agree completely that 
government has no right to make someone a criminal for using cannabis but 
I'm skeptical that we'll see any real changes. So far, it's just talk. We 
shouldn't be patting ourselves on the back for our progressive medical 
policy just yet.

Check those courtrooms for people with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy who 
are being charged with growing their own medicine.

The Medical Marijuana Access Regulations require several doctors to sign 
forms and the medical associations have told doctors not to sign. So we 
created a policy for doctors without their agreement to follow it. Not much 
use for the sick.

Britain's shadow home secretary, Oliver Letwin, is calling for a zero 
tolerance, "go to jail" policy for cannabis and the suggestion to 
decriminalize will wait a year before going into effect. They have not 
changed their laws and perhaps when they do, they'll be following the U.S. 
lead in hiring police and building prisons.

Holland's new conservative government wants to close up the coffee houses, 
along with kicking out illegal immigrants. There is a substantial group who 
believe (or at least say) that cannabis is an addictive, soul-destroying 
menace to society. While marijuana studies dating back to 1894 with the 
British Study on Hemp have indicated that this plant is no threat, the 
beliefs of the Reefer Madness crowd have been in force for 70 years and 
seem quite likely to continue. When politicians say, "maybe we'll 
decriminalize pot," maybe they're just looking for some attention.

Mack Mcleod


(There certainly is a whiff of the trial balloon about it -- but so far it 
seems to be enjoying a fair amount of support)
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens