Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 2009
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 The Toronto Star
Author: Emile Therien


Re: Critics say more jail time won't help curb violence, Feb. 27.
Canadians should face the facts. Illicit drugs are the cause of the gang
violence. The
so-called war on drugs, at an outrageous economic and social cost, will
simply not
reduce the use of illegal drugs in Canada. It is now time to consider the
alternative in
this country, namely, approaching this matter on a national basis as a
health concern
and not a criminal issue. Is decriminalization, so often discussed in the
past, the way
to the future? Are governments and citizens up to this challenge?

Think of the revenues that would go to all levels of government -
similar to the taxes we now have on cigarettes and alcohol. This is
not to suggest that legalizing illegal drugs would be risk and problem
free. But it is time to deprive drug lords, organized crime and
narcostates of the huge, tax-free profits realized from illicit drug
use in our society. For pecuniary reasons alone, this should become a
national priority.

Emile Therien

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