Pubdate: Sat, 07 Jun 2003
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2003 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Author: Stan Kopciuch
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


I guess the federal government thinks that all Canadians are myopic and 
can't see the obvious. Witness that attitude as exemplified in the latest 
Liberal Chretienist idiocy, the marijuana legislation.

On the one hand, the government sends a loud and strong message that 
production of marijuana will not be tolerated. It has upped sentences for 
production and maintained very stiff penalties for trafficking. Canadians 
are being told that the government is tough on drugs.

On the other hand, you can have drugs on you, as long as it's not too much, 
and all you get is a fine which will be less than running a red light or 
speeding. The message to Canadians here is that drug use is OK.

So explain to me and my neighbours, exactly how are the drug users getting 
the drugs which aren't really harmful? Well, they have to be coming from 
the producers, who are being targeted because they're producing harmful 

Does no one in la la land on the Rideau Canal see the illogic here? I mean, 
you declare a substance is, essentially, acceptable for public use and then 
create a system whereby the production of that substance is risky to the 
producer. What do you get? Increased demand (and why not, it's not criminal 
to do it anymore), but higher risk for suppliers which means higher prices 
being charged, which means more attraction to the criminal element, which 
means operations will go more and more to organized crime.

Exactly what is the government's game plan? If marijuana is OK, then the 
production of it should be OK as well. If the production of this substance 
is so terrible, then why, in heaven's name, are we permitting adults and 
children to use it?

And talk of further unbelievable callousness, how about making sure that 
adults get their kids to hold the pot for them, because if you get caught, 
the kids pay less. I mean, like where are their heads? Did they do any real 
thinking while putting together this legislation, or was this a product 
produced while they were "testing" the soon-to-be decriminalized substance?

Pull the legislation. Go and talk to the citizens of this nation. Determine 
what they believe is harmful and what is not. The government is already 
targeting tobacco to kill the production of a product which is harmful to 
the people in our nation. Yet tobacco production is completely legal, as is 
the use of that product. Surely the government can take as definitive a 
stand regarding marijuana?

Drug enforcement is not easy. But if we really and truly believe that the 
production of marijuana is so bad, then why are we permitting its use?

Back in the early part of the 20th century we had prohibition, where 
alcohol usage and production was denied. Many people identified the evils 
of the "demon booze", but the majority would not accept total prohibition, 
so alcohol is now available, legally with restrictions, everywhere in 
Canada. The government's job is to produce legislation which mirrors the 
public perception and desires. Either the stuff is OK and should be 
completely legalized, or the stuff is inherently bad and should be 
completely prohibited.

I know that we all don't agree on what course of action should be taken. 
What truly angers me is that the government should either lead us with a 
clear vision for its legislation, or follow us by legislating into effect 
what we want . . . or get out of office so we can put in people who will.

Stan Kopciuch, Regina
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