Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jan 2003
Source: Goldstream Gazette (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Goldstream Gazette
Author: Alan Randell
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Re "Pot decriminalization due" (Dec. 18): Rather than hesitate to state 
your views about drug policy because we activists are quick to criticize 
via e-mail, why not read our messages to see if our views make sense to you?

It's no sin to change your mind, after all.

Besides allowing the children of the rich to use marijuana and still become 
doctors and lawyers and travel the world like Mommy and Daddy, what exactly 
are the gains to be had from decriminalizing marijuana?

Will organized crime withdraw from the marijuana business? No.

Will marijuana growers stop stealing electricity to conceal their 
activities from hydro? No.

Will enforcement costs go down? No.

Will the cops spend less time going after marijuana users? No.

Will respect for the law increase? No.

Will fewer marijuana users be jailed? No, because the cops will charge many 
more users than before and because the poor ones will be jailed when they 
can't pay the fine.

Will police corruption diminish? No.

Will children continue to find it easier to access marijuana than booze? Yes.

The recent senate committee report explained carefully why 
decriminalization is not the way to go. It concluded on page 598 (page 34 
of the summary report): "Some say that decriminalization is a step in the 
right direction, one that gives society time to become accustomed to 
cannabis, to convince opponents that chaos will not result, to adopt 
effective preventive measures. We believe however that this approach is in 
fact the worst case scenario, depriving the State of a necessary regulatory 
tool for dealing with the entire production, distribution, and consumption 
network, and delivering hypocritical messages at the same time."

What else are we to conclude other than you didn't read the report?

Yes, when it comes to allowing us our God given right to ingest any damn 
drug we want, by all means, let's proceed cautiously.

Had you been in a position to offer advice when slavery was abolished, 
doubtless you would have recommended a go-slow approach, perhaps one that 
allowed each slave a day of freedom every other week.

Alan Randell, Saanich
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager