Pubdate: Fri, 11 Jul 2003
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Note: no author listed


I have lived in a few cities over the last 20 years and it seems where ever 
I go, there are grow-ops being "busted." Seemingly, with no end in sight.

I, for one, see a problem associated with all these grow-ops producing all 
that cannabis. Namely, high quality marijuana is all too easily available 
to children. This is the real drug problem. Easy access of pot for 
teenagers has infected every community in which I have lived.

There is a solution, I think. It occurred to me the other day when one of 
my teenage sons was asking me to "boot" for him. At first, I did not even 
know what he meant. Was he having trouble with his computer, I thought? No, 
he was having trouble with the legal regulations surrounding liquor.

Thankful, naturally I said "no way" and proceeded to tell him it was 
something I would never do for him and that I thought very poorly of 
drinking as a recreational activity. I told him it belongs in the kitchen 
and at the dining room table and has very little use outside those 

This scenario underscored for me the fact that cannabis prohibition has had 
exactly the opposite effect on controlling its use. If, as the 
prohibitionists claim, the point is to eliminate its use, then I would say 
that after nearly 70 years of prohibition, the opposite has been achieved. 
Can we do something as a community to get pot out of the hands of children?

Yes. I propose a trial (adults only) outlet for cannabis and cannabis 
products. A place where adults can go and legally purchase and consume the 
herb. How will this help keep pot out of the hands of children?

First of all, most of the cost of today's pot is reflected in its legal 
status. Legally sold pot would undercut the illegal "dealers." Illegal pot 
sales would all but dry up. The few remaining unscrupulous ones who would 
continue to sell to children could and should be targeted.

Instead of huge amounts of police resources being wasted on tracking down 
grow-ops (which would have to be legal components to legal retail sales to 
adults), they could spend time finding those remaining dealers who sell to 
underage smokers.

Citizens of Parksville and Qualicum Beach could look forward to the added 
benefit of another home grown industry that provides skilled and 
semi-skilled employment opportunities, tax revenue for all our favourite 
governments, safe and properly regulated grow-ops, and increased 
cooperation between the police and those who would otherwise have to 
mistrust them.

Oceanside is a beautiful community full of decent, friendly people, yet 
there is an undercurrent of tension that is the drug law problem. This 
tension is evidenced in the manner in which teenagers "get baked" on a 
daily basis. It is time for the prohibitionists to admit their solution has 
only exacerbated whatever drug problems would already exist in our society 
and consider a far less harmful approach.
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