Pubdate: Fri, 22 Feb 2013
Source: Burnaby Now, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Garth Evans


Dear Editor:

For some time, I have believed that the only logical way of dealing
with marijuana is to legalize possession for personal use. I don't
think marijuana is harmless, but neither is alcohol or tobacco. The
cost of trying to enforce the current laws greatly exceeds any
possible benefit resulting from seeking to prevent people from using
this drug. Huge amounts of public police and court funding are wasted
in the futile effort to enforce the law. A great deal of lucrative
criminal activity occurs as a result of the current situation and
disrespect for the law results from the belief by many people that the
law is wrong.

Distribution should be through government drug stores, and quality
should be strictly controlled to prevent distribution of overly strong
or chemically tainted product. The government would be able to charge
a substantial tax and/or profit and still charge much less than
current prices.

The great stumbling block to legalization has always been the United
States. If Canada legalized and the U.S. didn't, they would be likely
to impose much stricter border controls, which would damage our
business interests. Since Washington State has voted to legalize
marijuana, that concern no longer exists. As far as I am concerned,
possession of marijuana for personal use should be legalized as
quickly as possible, and I call upon the federal government to do so
without delay.

Garth Evans,

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