Pubdate: Mon, 29 Jul 2013
Source: Kingston Whig-Standard (CN ON)
Copyright: 2013 Sun Media
Author: Irene Backholm


Regarding "Pot should be legal, Hsu says." (July 26): We all know
tobacco is bad for us. I have never smoked and don't plan on starting.
I don't intend to force my view on tobacco on others. Its production
and sale is controlled by our government.

I have never tried marijuana and don't plan on trying it even if it
becomes legalized at some point. I expect that its production and sale
will be strictly controlled by the government. Criminals who make
fortunes on the sale of marijuana now will fight legalization tooth
and nail. The politics will make very strange bedfellows indeed.

We know alcohol is bad for us. While I was not around during the
experiment with the national prohibition of alcohol here in Canada
(I'm not quite that old), during the years 1916 to 1924, there was an
explosion of crime and gangsters involved in the production and sale
of alcohol.

But having its production and sale strictly controlled by our
government has been much better than the experience of the United
States, where the production and sale of alcohol was prohibited until
1933. Those years created fortunes for criminals and some fortunes in
Canada during the time alcohol was smuggled across the border. The
Bronfman fortune has its foundation from those years.

I am in favour of the legalization of marijuana as long as its
production and sale is strictly controlled. New laws will have to be
created. Driving while under the influence will be a crime. This could
be a new crop for farmers who have had to give up tobacco farming. New
taxes will help bring down our deficit. Ted Hsu, MP for Kingston and
the Islands, has it right: "the devil is in the details."

Irene Backholm Kingston
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