Pubdate: Fri, 13 Feb 2004
Source: Mississauga News (CN ON)
Copyright: The Mississauga News 2004
Author: Chris Bransfield


I'm writing in response to your editorial of Jan. 21 "Pot luck a raw deal," 
in which you acknowledge the problem the police are having regarding the 
illegal marijuana trade, and lamenting the fact that most of us make light 
of this.

With all due respect, publishing the pre-formatted letters and parroting 
the lame rationale of the prohibitionists doesn't seem to help them. As we 
carry on this facade, it destroys the trust of our children, and it 
reflects on our credibility. This diminishes the effectiveness of our 
legitimate warnings about the dangers of harder drugs. I'm referring to the 
Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) report, entitled Green Tide.

Every argument in this report, as well as the articles that scapegoat the 
drugs and demonize the users, are too simplistic and they're dead wrong. 
These problems are more sensibly explained as being caused by the 
prohibition itself. Please take a look at any one of half a dozen or so 
studies done by our own government such as the Le Dain Commission and the 
Special Senate Committee report, which document all the information you 
need, to do your own research.

If pot were legal, the price would be peanuts and organized crime would 
have a fraction of the resources available to be plowed right back into 
other illegal activities including the sale and purchase of other drugs, 
prostitution, extortion and the importation of guns. Your editorial 
neglected to mention that they're currently working on new methods to 
defraud our bank machines and other financial systems. They certainly 
wouldn't flourish as they do now, and as they did during alcohol 
prohibition, where they got their foothold.

If this prohibition were lifted, police budgets could be slashed and they 
would still have billions left over to go after real crime. The massive 
backlog in our courts could be relieved without the inevitability of 
another wholesale purge, like the one only two years ago that saw numerous 
charges dismissed, including many serious crimes such as murder and sexual 
assault. This time the estimates are that as many as 10,000 charges will 
have to be dismissed.
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