Pubdate: Thu, 08 May 2003
Source: Westender (Vancouver, CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 WestEnder
Author: Rob Gillespie


Frank G. Sterle, Jr.'s letter (May 1-7 issue) displays typical anti-pot 
argumentation. He asserts that he knows it is bad, and that his friends 
know, too. He then produces a lengthy quotation from an authority to prove 
that it's bad (but which really is a string of assertions). He tells us 
that if we don't prohibit its consumption, we are legitimizing it and 
falsely implying that it's harmless.

I could answer by disputing the claims of the authority or by rejecting the 
idea that if something is bad for you the government must ban it (why not 
pop, fatty foods, bleach, or gasoline cars, then?) but I won't. Lots of 
others have already, and far better than I could. Let me instead point out 
something missing from this argument: a moral consideration.

People consuming marijuana are sovereign individuals, just like Mr. Sterle; 
no greater, no lesser. What I ask is, where did he--and so many 
politicians, policemen, community "leaders" etc.--come by the idea that the 
state should force their views--and at gunpoint, make no mistake about 
it--on appropriate consumption on those individuals?

The philosophical base of this is not very nice; it's the idea that some 
people are so superior to others that they acquire rights of ownership, as 
though others were merely cattle, whose lives may be controlled and 
disposed of by the superior race.

This smacks of 18th-century slaveholding, or far worse in the 20th. It's a 
moral obscenity, and I think any prohibitionist who doesn't so see himself 
ought to run far away from the movement before he gets tarred with that brush.

I don't smoke pot, and I don't do any other drugs, either. That's my 
decision, for my body, and that's the only body I have any rights over. 
Other people's bodies belong to them, and not to me (nor to Frank Sterle or 
Jean Chretien, or John Ashcroft) so it is none of my goddamned business 
what they do with them. I also believe that people who think otherwise are 
far more harmful than all the drugs in the world. And that's why I am 
working with the BC Marijuana Party to end this horrendous practice before 
it is used to destroy us all.

Rob Gillespie

Financial agent, BCMP 
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