Pubdate: Thu, 26 Sep 2002
Source: Carillon, The (CN MB)
Copyright: 2002 The Carillon
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Sir:

Provencher MP Vic Toews needs to consider that there is a big difference 
between condoning marijuana use and protecting children from drugs.

Decriminalization acknowledges the social reality of marijuana use and 
frees users from the stigma of life-shattering criminal records. What's 
really needed is a regulated market with age controls. Separating the hard 
and soft drug markets is critical. As long as marijuana distribution 
remains in the hands of organized crime, consumers will continue to come 
into contact with addictive drugs like cocaine.

Given that marijuana is arguably safer than legal alcohol-the plant has 
never been shown to cause an overdose death-it makes no sense to waste tax 
dollars on failed policies that finance organized crime and facilitate the 
use of hard drugs.

Drug policy reform may send the wrong message to children, but I like to 
think the children are more important than the message. Tough-on-drugs 
politicians who've built careers on confusing drug prohibition's collateral 
damage with a relatively harmless plant would no doubt disagree.

Robert Sharpe, M.P.A. Program Officer Drug Policy Alliance Washington, DC
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom