Marijuana Use is Safer Than Drinking Alcohol

Re: ‘Pot growers, sellers are breaking the law‘ (Daily News, Jan. 2)

Susan Schleppe’s letter about jail sentences for growing marijuana was so ill informed and illogical that I hardly know where to start.

First, she’s wrong about what the Senate did to Bill C-15 (mandatory jail for drug offences). The mandatory sentences remain in place for growing even one cannabis plant if the garden is in a rental or poses a potential safety risk to the public.

Knowing one’s subject matter should be a prerequisite to opining on it.

Second, she says drug use is associated with crime, failed relationships and mental illness (citing the largest drug propagandist organization in the world).

But marijuana is safer than alcohol — our most dangerous drug — and the only reason “drug use” is associated with crime is because of our juvenile and harmful policy of prohibition.

Finally, she provides the trite observation that it is illegal, and therefore concludes that jailing fellow citizens is an appropriate option.

I suspect Schleppe is a hypocrite on this. Speeding is illegal, and it kills more Canadians in a year than marijuana has in history. Does she speed? Does she advocate mandatory jail for speeding? If not, why not?

The bottom line is that most Canadians want to end marijuana prohibition.
Despite this, the minority government is ramping up the drug war. It is time for the opposition parties to do what they are supposed to do: oppose this legislation when Parliament returns.

Published in the Nanaimo Daily News on January 5, 2010.