Pubdate: Mon, 09 Feb 2004
Source: Surrey Now (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc., A Canwest Company
Author: Kirk Tousaw


The Editor,

Re: "Problems should be solved, not moved," the Now editorial, Jan. 31.

I completely agree that the next operation should be named Get Real,
but unfortunately, your editorial doesn't provide a real solution to
the problems of drugs, prostitution and other prohibition-related
crime. Instead, you repeat the old saw that the courts need to punish
more severely. If you think that will eliminate or reduce any of the
problems you identify, get real. It doesn't work elsewhere in the
world (see the U.S.), and it won't work here.

The only way to tackle these social problems is to stop pretending
that the criminal law can be effective. Instead of aggressively
enforcing prohibitions, we need to repeal them. Legal businesses are
easy to regulate; illegal markets are exceedingly difficult to
control. Until people begin to realize that prohibiting consensual
activity is impossible, a real solution to our social problems will
always elude us.

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