Pubdate: Wed, 18 Aug 2004
Source: Revelstoke Times Review (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Bowes Publishers
Author: Robert Sharpe


Paul Willcocks' Aug. 11 (Time for government to abandon failed marijuana
strategy) column was right on target. BC's hazardous marijuana grow
operations are a direct result of marijuana prohibition. Legitimate farmers
do not steal electricity to grow produce in the basements of rented homes.

If legal, growing marijuana would be less profitable than farming tomatoes.
As it stands, the drug war distorts market forces such that an easily grown
weed is literally worth its weight in gold.

Rather than continue to subsidize organized crime, Canadian policymakers
should ignore the reefer madness hysteria of the U.S. government and instead
to look to their own Senate for guidance. In the words of (Canadian) Senator
Pierre Claude Nolin, "scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that
cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated
not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue."

Robert Sharpe, Policy Analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, DC 
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