Pubdate: Thu, 23 Dec 2004
Source: Smithers Interior News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Bruce Symington



Your Op/ed in the Dec. 9 The Interior News regarding the 'big
business' aspect of the illegal drugs market was 180 degrees off the

Your suggestion that the fact that it is indeed big business should
slow us down in our move toward legalization got it exactly wrong.

The fact that it is bigbusiness and big money is the main reason for
the involvement of organized crime in the production and distribution
of these popular substances, and the prohibition of them is at the
root of most of the 'problems' related to drug use.

I recall reading an article in Look magazine in the late 1960's which
made this point regarding heroin, and it is as true now as it was then.

It is also true relative to all the other prohibited drugs. The only
way out of this morass is legalization and regulation, with the
resulting savings in policing, court and jail costs, as well as the
extra taxes derived from their legal sale, and the income taxes which
are currently avoided by the criminals,going to treatment and
education regarding drugs use, and going also to education, health
care, and a myriad other social programs which can really use the extra

To say that the involvement of the criminals should "give us pause" is
to bury your head in the sand, or some other dark place, and ignore
the sense and logic of the counter-prohibitionists' logic.

Bruce Symington

Medicine Hat, Alberta
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