Pubdate: 4 May 1999
Source: Calgary Herald (Canada)
Author: Pat Dolan


Re "Chief opposes legalization of marijuana". Apr.28, Calgary Herald

Frank King earns our appreciation for his clear statement of Ontario
Premier Mike Harris's views. I find them disturbing. I'm sure the dealers
reading them chortle all the way to the bank.

He says: "We are for zero tolerance...we shouldn't be making it easier for
our children to get drugs." This is the statement of a man who has his feet
planted firmly in mid-air. It is decisive and ludicrous. Harris affects not
to know that it is precisely his prohibitionist, "zero tolerance" policy
that has made marijuana more available than booze.

It was banned early this century on the basis of a lot of scurrilous racist
rubbish propagated by that well known crusader Emily Murphy. Her remarks
would have her hooted out of office today. Harris, as a first step in his
rehabilitation, perhaps, should read up on his history.

He is for "early diversion and rehabilitation." But who is to be diverted
and who rehabilitated? Is it your wheelchair-bound granny smoking a bong in
a desperate attempt to get through another pain-wracked night? Or your
uncle Joe, perhaps, dependent on a few puffs to alleviate the nausea caused
by his chemotherapy?

Perhaps Calgary Police Chief Christine Silverberg said it best: "It (her
association) believes that scientists with Health Canada are best able to
suggest how to deal with the issue." That statement could well form the
basis of a request for the transfer of drugs policy where it belongs: in
the Department of Health

Pat Dolan
Vancouver, B.C. 

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