Pubdate: Wed, 20 Mar 2002
Source: Kelowna Capital News (BC)
Copyright: 2002, Kelowna Capital News Ltd.
Author: Gregory Teleglow


To the editor:

I want to respond to the Susan Fertile family's letters of rage and pain 
(Drugs Affect All Members of the Family, Capital News, March 13). Nothing 
to belittle their experiences is intended, but they have failed to realize 
that their sad problems with family members abusing drugs resulted in spite 
of prohibition and enforcement.

They feel that if less force were used, then society would experience more 
drug abuse and overdosing. Or, that if we would only allow a police state 
to exist in Canada, the drug trade would proportionally be displaced. 
Experience has shown this to be a conservative pipe dream.

The war on drugs is lost. The marijuana trade alone is the largest single 
industry in B.C., surpassing even forestry, even when timber was king. Now 
bikers are king.

Drawing parallels with the prohibition of alcohol, what would be the major 
difference if drugs were controlled and sold even as alcohol now is? Yes, 
some people would abuse drugs and families would be affected even as 
alcohol and drug use/abuse continues today.

The big difference would be that, instead of profit for "cruel, 
manipulative, deceiving and brutal" people, those billions of black market 
dollars could be used to pay off government debt, or fund education and 
health care.

Users would need to be 19, registered and sign a health care waiver should 
drug abuse health problems arise. Dual-tier health care: one level for the 
drug user, one for the rest of us. And let them pay for it.

Gregory Teleglow,

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