Pubdate: Fri, 30 Jan 2004
Source: Chilliwack Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Chilliwack Times
Author: Kirk Tousaw
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)



I applaud the city's desire to craft a victim impact statement concerning
marijuana grow-ops. The problem with the one being proposed is that it is
totally inaccurate.

Each and every one of the harms that the planned statement attributes to
grow-ops exists only because we prohibit marijuana possession and
cultivation. Legal businesses don't steal hydro. Legal businesses don't have
guns to protect their crop. Legal businesses don't fund organized crime.
Legal businesses don't trade their product for cocaine. Repealing
prohibition would instantly eliminate these social harms.

What will not work is increased sentences such as those employed "south of
the border." It doesn't work there, after all. Most of the marijuana used in
the U.S. is grown in the U.S. Mexico is the second biggest source. We rank a
distant third.

Considering that the vast majority of Canadians want decriminalization and a
substantial percentage want legalization, the real crime against "everyone
that pays taxpayer dollars" is continuing to fund marijuana prohibition. The
victim impact statement should read: "We are tired of funding policies that
do not work, cause harm and cost far too much money. Marijuana prohibition
should be repealed and the industry regulated and taxed like any other

Kirk Tousaw, Policy Director B.C. Civil Liberties Association
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MAP posted-by: Josh