Regarding Mr. Driedger's opinion regarding legalizing cannabis and the growing numbers of calls for changing our policies concerning cannabis(Times, Nov. 22).
A person totally loses all cred-ility to me when they compare using a recreational drug to robbery or murder. Now using drugs or alcohol may not be wise, may lead to problems that do affect others but we cannot police so-called crimes where all parties consent. Nor is it likely you would find 50 per cent of the population in favour of decriminalizing activities that produces actual victims. If someone is murdered, there is a victim. If someone is robbed, they call the police. If someone sells someone else a bag of pot, both people generally leave satisfied; there is no complaint to the police. Laws that attempt to make consenting activities illegal fail to curtail such activities and cause people to disrespect the law.
Well, I got past that and kept reading because I like to think I have an open mind, even when the initial statements put me off, until I got to the next big canard, which is the supposition that usage of cannabis would skyrocket. First off, this ignores the fact that anyone can get it anytime now if they want it. It also ignores the fact that people who don't use it now are not likely to be going to rush out and try it. I do not believe the legal status prevents anyone who wants to try cannabis from doing so. Even if adults choose to use it more under decriminalization or outright legalization, the youth rate of use in the Netherlands is lower than here where it's totally banned. I was not able to verify his numbers but I did find this gem on Reuters: "Dutch among lowest cannabis users in Europe" from 2009 (www. reuters.com/article/2009/11/05/ idUSL5730185).
Finally, the reason organized crime is involved with illicit drugs is precisely because they are illegal.
Using war, violence, incarceration, asset forfeiture upon persons for producing, distributing and consuming a plant, to correct their free choice to use that herb, has much more in common with a witch hunt than any kind of justice in a free society. I wonder how stoned Joe Walsh was when he dreamed up the album "The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get"?
Colin Walker New Westminster
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