Pubdate: Fri, 08 Apr 2005
Source: Leduc Representative (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Leduc Representative
Author: Russell Barth
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Dear Editor:

I don't care whether you're an MP, a police officer, a teacher, a
doctor, a student, a minister, or a newspaper editor; if you endorse
prohibition, you are endorsing violence. Prohibition is a system which
subsidizes organized crime, increases property crime, and endangers

To call for more prohibition is to play right into the criminals'
hands, and to ensure that if our police push the gangs harder, the
gangs will push back.

Only fools and criminals would think that prohibition is a good

The aim of our society is to reduce the number of people who use
drugs, reduce the amount of drugs the user uses, reduce the amount of
damage the drugs might do to the user, reduce the amount of damage the
user might do to others, reduce the amount of damage the production
and use of these drugs might do to the community, reduce the overall
cost to society, and to completely prevent drugs from falling into the
hands of kids.

I am sure we are all agreed on this much.

But prohibition is not the way to do that. This is not a moral
argument, or even an argument about civil rights or liberties.

This has nothing to do with whether or not cannabis is healthy or
dangerous, or whether people should be 'allowed' to use pot or not,
whether or not someone might drive while impaired, or what signals we
might send to our own citizens or those of our neighbours.

The simple fact of the matter is prohibition cannot work, it is simply
impossible. It never has worked, as it is a flawed policy,
mathematically unsound, and absurdly difficult to enforce.

Why can't some people see the basic math, the elementary economics, or
the plain and simple logic behind this?

If police bust more growers, and judges send these guys up for 4-14
years, they will have to put those guys in jails, where they will come
into contact with more drugs and diseases.

That will cost taxpayers millions more every year. This would mean
that we would have to further crowd our already overcrowded jails, or
let some other bad guys out sooner, or build more jails.

Taxpayers will pay for that, too, and and it would cost billions every

That would mean cuts to health care, education, and other important
programs, along with higher taxes, all to hire more police officers
and equip them, and build more jails.

Faced with serious jail time, the tens of thousands of 'mom `n pop'
growers will bail out of the game, leaving pot-growing the exclusive
domain of the heavily armed, profit-motivated gangs.

Faced with serious jail time, these criminal types will be more likely
to booby trap their grow, or have heavily armed guards ready to shoot
intruders, including police officers. This will further endanger kids.

So, for anyone keen on prohibition, 'crackdowns,' and minimum
mandatory sentences, a total bloodbath is what you're rooting for.

If you don't believe me, look no further than the gigantically
expensive and ineffective 'War On Drugs' the United States has going,
or just look at how well alcohol prohibition went in the last century.

Police, and government at all levels need to get something into their
heads quick: The War On Drugs is over, and they lost.

Russell Barth

Ottawa, Ont.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin