Pubdate: Wed, 08 May 2013
Source: Record, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Dear Editor:

Re: Legalization fight still on after smoke clears, The Record, April 26.

Now that neighbouring Washington and Colorado states have legalized
marijuana, Ottawa can no longer claim Canada must uphold marijuana
prohibition in order to maintain good U.S. relations.

In 2002, the Canadian Senate's special committee on illegal drugs
concluded marijuana is relatively benign, prohibition contributes to
organized crime and law enforcement efforts have little impact on
patterns of use. Consider the experience of the United States, current
world leader in per capita incarceration.

Despite decades of zero tolerance, the U.S. has higher rates of
marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally
available. The only winners in the war on marijuana are drug cartels
and shameless tough-on-drugs politicians who've built careers
confusing the drug war's tremendous collateral damage with a
comparatively harmless plant.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
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