To the Editor:
RCMP marijuana eradication efforts are no doubt well-intended, but ultimately counterproductive. The drug war's distortion of immutable laws of supply and demand causes big money to grow on little trees. Canadian tax dollars are wasted on anti-drug strategies that only make marijuana growing more profitable. In 2002, the Canadian Senate offered a common sense alternative to prohibition when the Special Committee on Illegal Drugs concluded that marijuana is relatively benign, marijuana prohibition contributes to organized crime, and law enforcement efforts have little impact on patterns of use.
Consider the experience of Canada’s southern neighbor, the former land of the free and current record holder in citizens incarcerated. Based on findings that criminal records are inappropriate as health interventions, a majority of European Union countries have decriminalized marijuana. Despite marijuana prohibition and perhaps because of forbidden fruit appeal, lifetime use of marijuana is higher in the U.S. than any European country. The short-term health effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to the long-term effects of criminal records. Canada should follow the lead of Europe and “Just Say No” to the American Inquisition.
Robert Sharpe, MPA
Common Sense for Drug Policy