Pubdate: Mon, 13 Oct 2003
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Joshua Hergesheimer


Re: Drug czar takes pot shot at Canada, Oct. 10

I want to add my voice to the long list of Canadians who support Prime 
Minister Jean Chretien's initiatives on marijuana legislation. I believe that:

1. Mr. Chretien understands that a society founded on principles of liberal 
democracy must lean toward tolerating, not criminalizing and regulating, 
alternative viewpoints. If we truly live in an age of "freedom of choice 
and action," where the state can no longer enforce adherence to a specific 
religious doctrine, it follows that we cannot enforce the morality that is 
inextricably bound up in such religious convictions.

Hence, the law necessarily becomes more of a neutral arbitrator and less of 
a narrow-minded morality enforcer. Whether smoking pot is right or wrong is 
not as important as whether the Canadian government can allow individuals 
to act in a way that is contrary to what the U.S. government thinks is correct.

2. I am proud that Canada is moving towards greater acceptance of all forms 
of variation from the norm. Most other repressive governments do not 
advocate that every other state should follow their rules: They are content 
to rule over their citizens. The U.S., however, seeks to enforce a certain 
standard of behaviour on other civilized countries.

Joshua Hergesheimer

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