My Response to Jon Ferry’s ‘Boot Camps’

Regarding Jon Ferry’s op-ed “Boot camps would be more ‘restorative justice‘” (Province, Dec. 11): I am currently serving a 6-month sentence for non-violent, victim-free herbal crimes (cannabis and magic mushroom possession with the purpose of trafficking), and I disagree with Ferry’s view that my herb sales “victimize” the community.

In Holland, people have the freedom to legally buy and sell cannabis and magic mushrooms with no evidence of victimization. Holland has the lowest rate of use of cannabis of any European country, yet is the most free in its distribution. We can learn from that. Freedom makes use more moderate, prohibition increases the dangers and levels of improper use.

If hard drugs like heroin or cocaine were prescribed by doctors and distributed by pharmacists (as heroin has been prescribed in the NAOMI program in Vancouver); if alcohol wasn’t sold in the mass media as an aphrodisiac, and if tobacco wasn’t grown using radioactive chemical fertilizers, there would far fewer drug victims.

The true victims in the drug war are the prisoners who are brutalized and humiliated daily and those who suffer from black market related harms.

The true victimizers are drug war propagandists like Mr. Ferry who perpetuate hate against people exercising their natural right to plants and drugs.

David Malmo-Levine