Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jan 2003
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: C.C. Roy


I am very happy that the Canadian government is finally considering the 
decriminalization of marijuana, although it is long overdue.

The dangers of cigarettes and alcohol far outweigh the dangers of smoking 
marijuana. There needs to be proper research done into this substance to 
determine exactly its benefits. For years the government has tried to tell 
us how bad drugs were. It has classified marijuana in the same category as 
heroin and cocaine.

As a teenager, I was smart enough to realize that marijuana wasn't really 
that harmful (my brain didn't fry like an egg, that is). I concluded that I 
was being misled and started wondering if perhaps some other drugs had been 
misunderstood. However, my peers educated me about the dangers of heroin, 
cocaine and other harder drugs. It's about time the truth came out.

Too many people are getting criminal records and can never work in certain 
companies (including government) because they were caught smoking a joint. 
It is outrageous to think of all the young people whose lives may be 
destroyed over something that should be their choice.

To fight the war on drugs, we need to tell our kids the truth about 
marijuana, and also tell our kids about the dangers of other drugs, too. If 
our society were more open and understanding, we wouldn't see so many young 
kids doing drugs.

Smoking marijuana does not make you a bad person. Instead of trying to 
fight this huge war on drugs, we should occupy ourselves by trying to solve 
homelessness, poverty, our horrible education system and a health-care 
system that is going down the drain. Perhaps we could use the millions of 
dollars we'd save if we weren't trying to capture, prosecute and jail these 
so-called "offenders."

I think I speak for most people when I say that I'm not offended by someone 
who makes a choice to smoke marijuana.

C.C. Roy,

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