Pubdate: Tue, 30 Sep 2008
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Langley Times
Author: Travis Erbacher


Editor: Where to start? I do hope The Times will be gracious enough to grant
me the space needed to address the fallacy and ridiculousness of Shelaine
Minler's letter "Legal pot is no answer" (The Times, Sept.28).

You do not have to be a user of cannabis to support legalization. Many
simply wish not to see their otherwise law-abiding friends, siblings,
parents, doctors, teachers, etc. thrown in jail. Simple possession of
marijuana is the most common criminal offence in Canada.

Does Ms. Minler really believe that a person, especially a young
person, be given a criminal record which will limit their ability to
travel and add an inerasable stigma that will impede employment
opportunities, for smoking a plant that occurs naturally all over the

Statistics Canada in a 2004 report stated that, despite the current
prohibition on marijuana, possession charges increased 80 percent
between 1992 and 2002. Considering that the stated aims of prohibition
are to reduce supply and curb demand, the policy is a failure.

The same Stats Canada report also states that 11 percent of homicides
are caused by disputes between traffickers (also known as organized
crime.) That is more than 160 people per year who would be alive today
if it were not for the prohibition of cannabis.

We do agree on a very key principle, however. We should have morals,
standards, and do what's truly right.

However, my idea of morality is to decrease human suffering as much as
possible. Throwing people in jail for causing no damage whatsoever is
creating human suffering with no potential benefit. Because of this,
prohibition is absolutely immoral.

What does more damage, smoking pot, or being thrown in jail? The
Conservatives have even proposed a mandatory minimum sentence of six
months for growing one plant. It's a plant. It's nature. Can I make it
any clearer?

In closing, I will get to the most important issue here, that of
freedom. Children should not be using drugs, but manipulated
statistics and blatant lies shoved down their throats will only breed
contempt for authority, further damaging society.

I would question your moral judgement if you think lying to and
purposefully frightening children is moral behaviour. Indoctrination
of the "just say no" variety is child abuse, pure and simple.

In a free society every human being should be able to do whatever they
want, so long as they do not harm anybody else. After all drugs, by
definition, distort or alter consciousness. Who but the individual
should decide what the contents of their mind will be?

Travis Erbacher

- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin