Pubdate: Mon, 07 Oct 2002
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Chris Bours
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Letter writer Del Egan makes the historical case for paternal government 
control of people by reminding us why government originally stepped in to 
"protect us from drugs." Ostensibly it was to protect idiots from buying 
bottles of who knows what from who knows whom. With the recent revelation 
that hormone replacement therapy for women was doing more harm than good, I 
have to make the case that 100 years later we are no better off. The snake 
oil salesmen today simply have to put one over on Health Canada rather than 
the individual.

Caveat Emptor, or buyer beware, has served mankind for thousands of years 
because it recognizes there is only one true protection and that is 
self-protection. From that perspective, the question begs to be asked, why 
is it anyone would be purchasing bottles of unknown ingredients from 
unscrupulous companies in the first place? If drug company A was losing 
business to drug company B over labeling, do you really think the state 
would have to tell company B to label their products?

It was a well-known drug company that sold heroin as a cough syrup, of all 
things, and they labeled their bottles. That's because the law convoluted 
from protecting Canadians from snake-oil salesmen to protecting us from the 
snake oil. That is from labeling to prohibition for our own good of course.

Well, what if I like the taste of strychnine? Is it any of Del Egan's 
business if I want to buy all I can afford and wash it down with a bottle 
of bleach? Would Del buy a bottle of who knows what and swallow it if I 
told him it was from the fountain of youth and cured whatever ailed him? Is 
it any business of the state to protect you from your own stupidity?

Del makes a better argument for ending the paternalism of the state then he 
knows. Restore our natural right to drugs and don't swallow anything you 
are not 100 per cent sure of. That means deal with reputable dealers. 
Perhaps the state ought to stick to protecting us from force or fraud and I 
do the self-protecting thing to deal with snake oil salesmen, thank you 
very much.

"The law is the collective organization of the individual's right lawful 
defence of his life, liberty and property. When it is used for anything 
else, no matter how noble the cause, it becomes perverted and justice is 
weakened. Thus, the law has become perverted by stupid greed and false 
philanthropy." -- Frederic Bastiat

Chris Buors,Winnipeg, Man.
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