Pubdate: Thu, 27 Nov 2008
Source: Daily Gleaner (CN NK)
Page: C7
Copyright: 2008 Brunswick News Inc.
Author: Richard Cleveland


Re: Grow-op sentencing story published Nov. 20

Am I missing something here? I am referring to the story of the Minto 
man who was charged and sentenced rather harshly for simple 
possession and growing of a few pot plants.

Was this guy a drug kingpin who the police and the courts nailed 
because they couldn't find the main stash or his elaborate distribution ring?

I don't believe simple possession or growing of small quantities of 
the famous herb should result in incarceration or fines.

It is the law, of course, but the law is wrong and needs updating. I 
understand in this province we are extremely conservative about our 
drugs. As the folk singer/activist Todd Snider's song says, the 
problem is, "it's not necessarily what drugs we are on, but whose."

The alcohol and tobacco companies have a big influence on our society 
and, in turn, our governments, which generate huge sums of money 
through taxes. There is no doubt as to which two of the three cause 
the biggest problems to our health and well being.

If we continue to ignore that fact, then let's legalize the weed to 
fall in under the booze and smokes category and double our tax revenues.

In my opinion, marijuana and its derivatives have never been a 
problem. My first contact was 42 years ago, most of my friends 
certainly smoked it, and some still do.

I haven't been a regular user for 25 years, but I certainly don't 
begrudge anyone else using it. I know people in every walk of life 
that either have or still do. We still don't seem to buy into the 
idea that it is the addictive behavior of some people that causes the 
problems, and if we really want to remove the source of temptation, 
then it all has to go - the booze, smokes and the weed.

That isn't going to happen, so legalize the damn stuff and 
concentrate on clearing the rest of the street drugs that kill or 
destroy lives. It will be money well spent.

Our police officers have more than enough to do; it's a waste of 
resources that are thin and expensive. The court systems are 
backlogged with important cases, Why deal with prosecutions for small 
quantities of marijuana?

Richard Cleveland

Rusagonis, N.B.
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