Pubdate: Tue, 05 Sep 2006
Source: Ladysmith-Chemanius Chronicle (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 BC Newspaper Group & New Media
Author: Lynne Williams



I enjoyed the "DARE does a disservice to kids" letter in theAug. 8 
issue and wanted to add to that letter.All of his statements, sadly, 
were true.The drug war and the hysteria it has created has caused us 
to act like fools.The information used to make pot illegal is 
laughable today.It was laughable at the time as well but people were 
not as well educated then and didn't dare question the government or 
police. For all of the hype about pot, cocaine, heroin, crystal meth 
and any other new drug du jour that arrives, let us not forget that 
the number one killer drug is alcohol.Alcohol is what is known as a 
"hard" drug as it can kill you.You can overdose on alcohol and die 
same as you can on heroin.Pot is a "soft" drug because no matter how 
much you smoke or ingest it won't kill you. All drug deaths related 
to all illegal drugs are a tiny drop in the bucket in comparison to 
the death and destruction caused by legal alcohol.

So why do we call some drug dealers pushers, dealers, cockroaches and 
other drug dealers government officials, liquor store employeesor 
cold beer and wine store clerks?Why is it okay for the government, 
alcohol and tobacco companies to make money off of drugs but not okay 
for others? Considering the government's failed attempt to grow 
decent marijuana, I would guess that they fear the competition.

People have used drugs since time began for enjoyment with the 
majority suffering no ill effects. If a drug is truly harmful then 
educate the citizens about it.The lies that have been told over the 
past century in the effort to keep marijuana illegal has led to 
people generally ignoring what the police and governments have to say 
about drugs. Drug use is a health issue and should be dealt with 
accordingly.We are long overdue for some sorely needed logic and 
common sense to enter the drug war.

The criminalization of marijuana occurred in the U.S. as a way to 
discriminate against the black population.Canada quickly followed 
suit as, same as today, the government had no backbone when it came 
to standing up to the Americans.We also had our own little racial 
problem going on.The rail-road was finished and the hard-working, 
underpaid Chinese were in the way. The white men protested and the 
government made opium illegal.Marijuana was added to that list of 
prohibited drugs with no debate and no valid reason.Police and 
government have told out-right lies to make it illegal and many still 
do to this day.Today not many people would believe the 
government-sponsored cult film of the 1930s called 'Reefer Madness' 
yet those falsehoods are quite often used as justification for 
keeping marijuana illegal.

The drug war and the industry of jails, police, drug testing and 
mandatory minimum sentencing that is has spawned is a 
multi-billion-dollar business in the U.S. as well as a disgrace to a 
country that prides itself on freedom. Just imagine what could be 
done if that money was spent on something useful instead of being 
wasted on big business and the police state?Canadians moan about the 
cost of the ill-fated gun registry and rightfully so yet many ignore 
the fact that we waste the equivalent amount of money per year on the drug war.

The Senate Committee on the Legalization of Marijuana recommended 
outright legalization of pot.After listening to Canadians all across 
the country and looking at the evidence they realized that the drug 
war is a dismal failure.It is prohibition itself that causes 95 per 
cent of the problems associated with any illegal drug as well as 
provides money to criminal organizations.This is something we all 
learned in high school when we read about alcohol prohibition.It 
didn't work then and it certainly isn't working now.B.C. marijuana 
was practically worthless until the U.S. stepped up the war on drugs 
in the early '80s. The Senate Committee realized that legalization 
was a bold move but they felt that Canadians had the intelligence to 
accept such a debate.I fear that the Senate Committee grossly 
overestimated the intelligence of our elected officials.

There are only two reasons that our government would continue the 
drug war in its current form.One is ignorance. The other is 
stupidity. Having a Reform/Alliance/Conservative/What name are we 
this election government that puppets the U.S. Republican Party does 
not give me much confidence in the future of my country.

Lynne Williams,

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