Pubdate: Fri, 02 May 2003
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Kim Hanna
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor, headline by newshawk


I read your article, "O Cannabis" and I'm green with envy that Canada is
considering an enlightened approach to regulating this plant. My country is
not even close to accepting marijuana the way Canadians have.

We still live in the Dark Ages, with Inquisition-type penalties for
marijuana offenses. Needless to say, our severe penalties haven't done a
thing to stem the use of marijuana. Usage has stayed about the same for

The legal penalties have only hurt independent-minded people and made a
large segment of our society outcasts among their own people. An unwarranted
schism exists in America because of unfounded fears and entrenched
government paranoia over marijuana.

We have built a huge law-enforcement prison industrial complex of government
snitches and spies -- unfortunately very similar to the former Soviet Union.
We now imprison more people then even they dreamed of. The monies we've
wasted on the drug war are lost forever, like in a casino.

The only way to control marijuana is through a legal, regulated, licensed
distribution system; with the selling price kept as low as possible. This
prevents the importation of foreign marijuana (not worth the trouble or risk
of smuggling to Canada) and reduces teen access to marijuana (no more
black-market underground). All your illicit grow ops can be licensed and
you'll stop the stealing of electric power.

Canada can put its money into more cops, prosecutors, judges, prisons or you
can put your money into your people; for children, schooling, health care
and business investment.

The choice is up to Canada.

Kim Hanna

Worcester, Mass.

(We think you underestimate the mendacity of the Soviet Union, but we take
your point)
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MAP posted-by: Josh