Pubdate: Wed, 02 Mar 2016
Source: Prince George Citizen (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Prince George Citizen
Author: Eddie Johnson
Page: 4


Let me quote a few lines from a Vancouver Province newspaper 
editorial from Friday, March 5, 1965:

"It began with a few pounds of heroin...seizure of 76 pounds of pure 
heroin at Laredo Texas. That amount of heroin diluted and broken into 
small lots for 'pushing' in the underworld market is estimated to be 
worth $56 million when sold to addicts... its legal worth in the 
pharmaceutical trade is about $30 an ounce. In their futile endeavors 
to prohibit the use of narcotics North American legislators are 
maintaining an illicit traffic that guarantees its participants 
$1,500 for every dollar invested. It is no wonder the dope trade is 
never at a loss for recruits.

"But anti-narcotic laws have not suppressed the traffic. Police are 
constantly on the trail of peddlers. Magistrates send a steady stream 
of addicts and 'pushers' to prison and detectives intermittently 
seize a few pounds of heroin worth millions only because the drug is 
outlawed... if addicts could obtain drugs at legal cost from properly 
authorized dispensers one thing is certain. There would be no more 
fortunes for drug peddlers and international drug rings. No longer 
would there be the incentive of huge profits. The traffic would soon 
die a natural death."

As a young policeman in Vancouver at the time, this editorial had 
particular resonance. Fifty-one years ago is a lifetime.

Has anything changed?

Only now are we talking about legalizing marijuana. How many hundreds 
of millions or is it billions of dollars have been spent on this "war 
on drugs." The implications go far beyond the money spent or the 
profit lost on not having legal drugs.

It's the thefts, the robberies, the B&Es, the women that turned to 
prostitution, lives ruined, not by using the drug, but by it being illegal.

For anyone suggesting that legalization is not the way to go I would 
ask, "What do you suggest? The drugs are already out there and 
readily available to anyone with the bucks."

Eddie Johnson

Prince George
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