Pubdate: Mon, 09 Sep 2002
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2002 Southam Inc.
Author: Matthew M. Elrod, Adam Wiggins
Note: Headline by newshawk.
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


What does Mr. Harper's knee-jerk reaction to the Senate committee report on 
cannabis tell us about this would-be PM?

For starters, we can deduce that he offers uneducated opinions on expert 
literature -- in this case, the Senate report on marijuana -- he apparently 
hasn't even read.

I am a parent of three school-aged girls and I would much rather learn that 
they were experimenting with cannabis than with alcohol. All the same, I 
look forward to the day when cannabis of known potency and purity is 
distributed to adults by licensed personnel, not to anyone of any age, no 
questions asked, by hoodlums in high schools.

Matthew M. Elrod, Victoria


Stephen Harper's opinion that pot is somehow "worse" than alcohol is 
irrelevant to the debate about effective drug policy (Pot Worse Than 
Alcohol, Harper Says, Sept. 6). The criminalization of cannabis has filled 
jails with otherwise law-abiding citizens, inspired disdain for the law 
among youth and made organized criminals extremely rich. The fact that Mr. 
Harper views pot as worse than other drugs, in some sense, does not change 
these facts.

Last week's recommendations from a Senate committee make sense: Legalize 
and regulate. By regulating the market, we can place proper age controls on 
the use of cannabis, and take it out of the hands of black market drug dealers.

Government resources currently spent on enforcement can be diverted to 
education and treatment. And most importantly, we can stop locking up 
productive citizens who use cannabis responsibly -- thus saving a jail cell 
for a real criminal.

Adam Wiggins, Pasadena, Calif. 
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