Pubdate: Wed, 18 Feb 2009
Source: Hudson/St. Lazare Gazette (CN QU)
Copyright: 2009 Lake of Two Mountains Gazette Ltd.
Author: Russell Barth


Re. Illegal drugs, Weekly Itch, Feb 4: Peter Ratcliffe seems to think
that the cure for the problems caused by prohibition is more
prohibition. What folly, and what balderdash.

He writes: "Drugs are a societal cancer that won't go away without
really aggressive treatment."

Drugs aren't the problem, it is the laws making them illegal which
caused all of this. Drug use has been around since before language, it
is implicated in the creation of most of the world's religions, and it
will never go away no matter how many cages we build. We cannot jail
our way out of this mess. Junk food kills more Canadians each year
than all illegal drugs combined - should we ban that?

Prohibition didn't work for alcohol, and it simply cannot work for
drugs. It subsidizes organized crime, makes drugs of all kinds more
available to kids than booze or tobacco, wastes about two billion a
year in courts and cops and cages, robs us a valuable source of tax
revenue and medicine, usurps our civil rights and liberties, and has
been scientifically proven to be wildly counterproductive. Doing even
more of the same will only lead to more problems.

Kids know that our marijuana laws - for example - are arbitrary and
based on lies, so when kids are lied to about one thing, they are less
likely to believe you when you actually do tell the truth about drugs
like meth and heroin.

And who can blame them? We live in a culture that glamourizes sex,
fun, danger, thrills, law-scoffing, risk-taking, rule-breaking, power,
wealth-acquisition, and authority-resisting. We advertise booze, fast
cars, fast food, violent movies and video games, and drugs of all
kinds, right on TV! Then we tell kids that "drugs are bad". Does
anyone still believe that kids don't notice this wild hypocrisy? A
ruse by any other name...

We need to stop wasting money on a proven failure, and spend the money
on education and social programs that prevent drug abuse, and we could
get that money from a regulated and taxable drug trade. Regulated
marijuana sales would generate an estimated $3billion in annual tax
revenue. Or we could build more jails and hire more cops and give up
even more of our rights.

For those keen on teaching kids about drugs without all the hyperbole,
spin, sloganeering, and bald-faced lies of the standard "education"
programs like DARE, I recommend the Canadian Students For Sensible
Drug Policy website at (, the Educators For
Sensible Drug Policy website at (, or the Law
Enforcement Against Prohibition website at (

Russell Barth Federally Licensed Medical Marijuana User

Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on Cannabis

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