Pubdate: Sun, 04 May 2003
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2003, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Larry Seguin
Note: Parenthetical remark by the Sun editor, headline by newshawk


THE FACTS are in your editorial ("Let's get past the smokescreen,"
April 27): "Cops say the marijuana laws are already flexible, but they
bust 30,000 Canadians a year for marijuana." In the U.S., law
enforcement officials preach the evils of meth, crack and cocaine.
They use fear and addiction as their focal point for budget increases.
Marijuana is not their priority. But as soon as the heat is off and
the budget is increased, it's hit the streets with sting operations
for marijuana. Then they use the media for great eye-catching
headlines: "300 busted for drugs last month." Problem is, 250 were
busted for a few grams of marijuana. More drug arrests requires more
officers. Then the courts fill up. The DA's office, probation,
mandatory substance evaluation, jails and the Public Defender's office
need more personnel. Prisons expand. A large group of voters is formed
from those employed in the drug war. Then the only way a politician
can get elected is by expanding the war. The debate about marijuana
will never end. Just like the debate about abortion. It's about a
choice of personal freedom that has nothing to do with anyone else's

Larry Seguin

Lisbon, N.Y.

(See letter of the Day) 
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