Pubdate: Thu, 21 Aug 2008
Source: Times & Transcript (Moncton, CN NK)
Copyright: 2008 New Brunswick Publishing Company
Author: Russell Barth


To The Editor: Regarding James Foster's City Views column "Is society 
benefiting from the war on pot?". Aug. 20: "Other than lawyers, who 
benefits from criminalizing pot smokers?," he asks.

Cops, gangsters, court staff, and jailers.

Marijuana was criminalized in Canada in 1923 based on racist lies and 
supposed "dangers to society" that never actually existed.

In fact, it took until 1937 (a full 14 years!) before the first pot 
bust happened.

A quick search of Google will show that the real reason pot was 
criminalized was to demonize its sister plant, hemp.

Hemp is a major threat to Big Oil because everything we make out of 
crude can be made with hemp (fibre, fuel, polymers, cloth), only it 
can be done cheaply, locally, and with no damage to the environment.

The main function of marijuana prohibition is control.

The police have control over people of colour, the poor and the young.

The government has total control over the economy, whereas hemp would 
give the control back to the people.

As for a "good reason" to legalize pot: It has dozens of proven 
medical applications, and recent science out of Germany shows how 
cannabinoids stimulate the body's production of TIMP- 1, which helps 
healthy cells resist cancer invasion (see 
news/20071226/pot-slowscancer-in-test-tube) I think "potential cure 
for cancer" is the best reason to legalize pot, if "thwarting the 
black market" isn't a good enough reason in and of itself.

But Big Pharmaceuticals will hear none of it, because they can't 
profit from it.

Beyond that, if you accept that the government has any say at all as 
to what you can and cannot put into your own body, then you must 
accept their ownership.

That means the government owns you like a slave, or pet, or cattle 
and that you have only the rights that they grant. If you are stupid 
or weak enough to accept that, then maybe you deserve to have no rights at all.

Russell Barth,

Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis,

Nepean, Ont.
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