Pubdate: Thu, 10 Jun 2004
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Vancouver Sun
Author: John Krzyzewski


Re: Legalize marijuana and tax it, study says, Business BC, June 9

Legalizing and regulating the cultivation and sale of cannabis make
complete sense. Not only will it bring in huge amounts of revenues,
but it will save more millions of dollars that are wasted on a futile
police effort to stop the underground industry.

Besides those immediate, substantial benefits, there are secondary
benefits. Since Vancouver (and other communities) have extended the
hours for liquor-serving establishments, we have had numerous
late-night brawls in the streets that often end with gunfire and other
mayhem. It's alcohol that precipitates such violence, not marijuana,
which is a much more sociable substance.

Far from becoming a so-called "gateway drug" as some police spokesmen
allege, I believe that moderate marijuana use will curtail the desire
to seek out more dangerous substances. (If you want to find "gateway
drugs," just go to any pharmacy and watch the stream of users and
abusers come for their legal fix.)

Society will only benefit from ending the insane war on marijuana, and
by getting a share of the profits to be gained from legalizing this
substance -- a substance that is less destructive than the tobacco and
alcohol that we now, hypocritically, sell legally to millions of
unfortunate people who are truly addicted to them.

John Krzyzewski

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