Pubdate: Mon, 05 May 2003
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Page: A16
Copyright: 2003, The Globe and Mail Company
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Printed in Canada's large national newspaper, this appears to be 
Robert's 975th published letter that we know of. See


Washington -- Canadian Alliance MP Randy White seems to think the job
of keeping drugs out of the hands of children is best left to
organized crime (Canada's Marijuana Control Is Going Up In Smoke --
May 2). If Mr. White is truly concerned about "Canada's inability to
control the marijuana issue," he'll join the Canadian Senate in
calling for an end to marijuana prohibition. His comments regarding
President George W. Bush suggest he is more interested in appeasing
Canada's southern neighbour than implementing the will of the majority
of Canadians who favour marijuana-law reform.

Telling examples of drug-war failure can be found very close to home.
The U.S. is one of the few Western countries that uses its criminal
justice system to punish citizens who prefer marijuana to martinis,
yet lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the U.S. than in any
European country. The short-term health effects of marijuana are
inconsequential compared to the long-term effects of criminal records.
Unfortunately, marijuana represents the counterculture to misguided
reactionaries intent on legislating their version of morality.

In subsidizing the prejudices of culture warriors, government is
inadvertently subsidizing organized crime. The drug war's distortion
of immutable laws of supply and demand make an easily grown weed worth
its weight in gold. The only clear winners in the war on marijuana are
drug cartels and tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers on
confusing drug prohibition's collateral damage with a relatively
harmless plant.

Robert Sharpe, program officer, Drug Policy Alliance
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake