Pubdate: Mon, 11 Jan 2010
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Kirk Tousaw


Re: 'Paul Walton: Canada's pot conundrum ' (Daily News, Jan. 5)

Paul Walton says that people that want to end marijuana prohibition
should "get a life."

In fact, we want to save lives.

Marijuana prohibition causes harm, and lots of it. It creates illegal
markets that are, in the words of the Fraser Institute, a "gift of
revenue" to organized crime. Prohibition also ruins countless young
lives by equating normal youthful experimenting with criminal conduct
carrying with it -- for more than 50,000 Canadians each year --
lifelong criminal records for simple possession. Prohibition is also
solely to blame for the much decried (and much exaggerated) problem of
dangerous suburban "grow-ops".

Prohibition fails to deter use. Mr. Walton's statement that marijuana
is difficult to get because it is illegal is laughable. And the idea
that our problems with booze, a dramatically more dangerous and
addictive drug, somehow mean we won't be responsible when consuming
cannabis is illogical and contradicted by our current

I'm not sure if Mr. Walton is aware, but two million Canadian consume
cannabis on a weekly basis and we virtually never hear about any
fights, rapes, beatings or driving accidents caused by the marijuana
users. Marijuana and alcohol are different substances, with decidedly
different effects.

Mr. Walton says that legalization is "plainly stupid." The evidence is
pretty clear that what we are doing now is stupid and that the only
sensible approach is to end prohibition.

Maybe instead of admonishing us "legalizers" to get a life, Mr. Walton
should spend some time learning the subject matter he writes about.

Kirk Tousaw

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr