Pubdate: Tue, 03 Jun 2003
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Copyright: 2003 Winnipeg Free Press
Author: Chris Buors


The Free Press did a good job of explaining some of the facts of life in 
its Marijuana law reform editorial (May 28). The editorial ought to have 
made clear to readers the ramifications of doubling the penalties for "evil 
miscreants" like drug pushers and dealers.

Putting the mom and pop operators out of business will leave consumers to 
the mercies of enterprising ruffians. This strategy will result in society 
having nothing but hardened criminals in charge of the distribution of 
high-demand products. Canadians will become a more battle-hardened 
citizenry as the body count of the ruffians and innocents mount.

All this to serve the interests of prohibitionists in their attempt to 
achieve a thousand-year sin-free world in order to facilitate the Second 

There are in fact three separate interests in the drug war. The moralists, 
medicalizers and liberty lovers are all at metaphorical war. All vie for 
political power to add coercive force to lend legitimacy to their political 

Justice Minister Martin Cauchon is right. The drug war is, inter alia, 
about "what we tell kids about life." The drug prohibitionists tell them 
one set of lies, for example, that marijuana is dangerous, but Ritalin is 
not. The drug medicalizers tell them another set of lies, for example, that 
using an illegal drug is a disease like diabetes and that being imprisoned 
by psychiatrists is "treatment" like injecting oneself with insulin.

Anyone for telling kids -- and adults, too -- the truth?

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