Pubdate: Mon, 16 Dec 2002
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Province
Author: Ian Campbell


Many Province readers as well as the paper's columnist Michael Smyth are 
missing a significant point in the debate over decriminalization of marijuana.

When a product is illegal it drives up the price and makes it much more 
appealing to organized crime. If tougher penalties were imposed, it would 
mean a greater risk to the growers and, in turn, would increase the 
profit-margin for criminals.

Legalization removes the criminal element and increases control.

We don't seem to have a problem with alcohol being legal, although it has a 
greater negative effect on our society than all other drugs combined.

The use of alcohol plays a major factor in increasing almost every type of 
violent crime, as well as being the No. 1 gateway drug.

Decriminalization of pot is the first step in the right direction.

Ian Campbell,

West Vancouver
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart