Pubdate: Tue, 05 May 2015
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2015 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Mae Burrows
Page: B5


Regulate, tax marijuana and use money to pay for health care

Re: Ottawa out of step with Canadians' views toward pot, Opinion, April 28

We get the same old, same old, "war on drugs" from Federal Health
Minister Rona Ambrose, who wants to go to war with the city of
Vancouver for proposing to regulate cannabis dispensaries. She's
firing missives at a modern-day approach to dealing with drug issues
the same day the low-level gang war with its shootings continues in

Kudos to Thomas Kerr and Julio Montaner for introducing evidence and
intelligent discussion into alternatives for dealing with drugs. I
don't support our youth overusing pot on the streets of Vancouver.

However, it's clear that prohibition does not work. It's clear that
the war on drugs doesn`t work, so why do we persist? Even the U.S. has
moved away from the Harper-Ambrose position.

I also like Kerr and Montaner`s bright idea to bring some cash into
public-health coffers from the regulation of cannabis. This money
could help alleviate the near vacuum of treatment options for those
suffering from addiction, which is clearly a health, not a criminal or
moral issue. Policing and prisons cost more than treatment. Prisons
almost inevitably turn out people sicker than when they went in, so
why keep shovelling more money toward punishment. Let's get some order
and sanity

Regulate pot, tax pot, and use the money for health care.

Mae Burrows

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