Pubdate: Wed, 14 Jun 2006
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Langley Times
Author: Mary Phillips


Editor: I was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana recently.
It seems the right time to come out publicly for  legalization, and I hope
to persuade you to do the same.

I have been smoking marijuana for 30-plus years. It is my choice for
relaxation and enjoyment. I know plenty of  people in our town also
enjoy this choice.

I believe this holds true for millions across our country. Aren't we
all tired of having to "hide" and deny our use in public, because of
outdated and senseless laws? Surely it is time to bury the b.s.  and
get marijuana legalized.

It doesn't destroy  lives -- in fact, it improves the quality of life
for many. It is a proven,  all-natural remedy for numerous medical
conditions -- but very few people are deemed "ill" enough to receive

With legalization, thousands would have access to an affordable
medication -- without the "shame" it has attached to it now. Hemp
would become a viable crop as the quantity of products that can be
made from its fibre are endless. Profits are there for farmers, and
backyard gardeners alike, as it is a plant well-suited to the Canadian
growing season.

Our society's need for a cheap, easy to grow, alternative source for
everyday consumer goods, and medicines, has never been greater.

Attitudes towards marijuana have changed over the last 70 years, as
people have come to realize this drug is basically harmless.
Scientific studies released lately say it is less addictive than tobacco.

Our laws need to change to reflect this truth. The RCMP are obliged to
waste their time, and money, on peaceful, contributing, community
members like myself. Their resources need to be focused on the truly
dangerous drugs that are destroying lives in our towns and cities.

Crack cocaine/crystal meth is taking its toll here, as it is
everywhere, and the dealers who make it available to our children need
to receive the RCMP's undivided attention.

If you agree with any of this, help me get marijuana legalized. What's
to be afraid of? A more honest, kinder,  environmentally-friendly (and
sound) future for us and our children?

I have written letters to Stephen Harper declaring my support of
legalization and intend to mail one weekly, starting on July 1. It is
the "people" who institute change and there are enough of us.

I ask you to begin celebrating Canada Day by mailing, or e-mailing,
the first of your letters to our prime minister. When he receives
millions of statements of support from across the country, weekly, he
will have to listen to what the "people" want.

His address is House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont., K1A 0A6. The e-mail
address is Come on people, this is an easy one, and it will work.

Mary Phillips,

Fort St. James
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