Pubdate: Fri, 10 Feb 2012
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2012 Guelph Mercury Newspapers Limited
Author: Bill Hulet


Dear editor:

Marty Burke's letters to the editor serve a very useful purpose. That
is because he is honestly articulating a point of view that generally
tends to hide from public discourse.

Take a look at the latest offering ("Won't cower from personal
attacks" -- Feb. 7)

He doesn't see why legalizing marijuana should be a legislative
priority. I think this is probably because he has never smoked
marijuana, doesn't associate with anyone who is open about smoking it,
and he refuses to pay any attention to the overwhelming scientific
evidence that supports legalizing it.

I believe a great many people do think legalizing marijuana is a good
idea. Not only because the Conservatives are poised to needlessly
throw away money through increased enforcement and incarceration over
marijuana, not only because the poor slobs who run afoul of
ill-informed police, prosecutors and judges who don't understand what
a joke the law is, but because the law creates a pervasive odour of
corruption in our institutions.

Think about how damaging it is in the long-term to only hire police
officers, prosecutors and judges who know that the marijuana laws are
dumb yet refuse to threaten their careers by speaking out, or people
who are too dumb to know that the law is a crock. Do we really want to
exclude intelligent people with moral courage from all of these jobs?
That's what the marijuana laws do, in effect.

One last point. Burke said there are more important things to worry
about. Sad to say, I have to agree. But I noticed that he didn't list
the greatest, most existential threat that the human race has ever
faced: climate change. That, too, is revealing about how Burke -- and
people like him -- really think.

Bill Hulet

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