Pubdate: Mon, 19 Aug 2002
Source: Winnipeg Sun (CN MB)
Copyright: 2002 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Matthew M. Elrod
Section: Letter of the Day
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


I notice you support competing with the U.S. for their world-record 
incarceration rate because "a majority of Canadians think our courts are 
not tough enough" (Aug. 16 editorial, Get off the justice pot).

Yet you seem to disapprove of cannabis decriminalization, despite the fact 
a majority of Canadians support it.

In answer to your "tough question" on detecting stoned drivers, the 
empirical evidence is conclusive: cannabis and alcohol are economic 
substitutes with cross-price elasticities. When cannabis use goes up, 
alcohol use goes down, resulting in a net decrease in drug-related traffic 

Economists Frank Chaloupka and Adit Laixuthai estimate that cannabis 
decriminalization would reduce youth traffic fatalities by 5.5%, youth 
drinking rates by 8% and binge drinking rates by 5%.

Matthew M. Elrod

Victoria, B.C.

(And other studies show the exact opposite.)
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