U.S. WAR ON DRUGS NOW MAINLY A WAR ON MARIJUANA USERS
I enjoyed reading your editorial on the Marc Emery situation.
You are correct to conclude that the Drug Enforcement Agency should be focusing its energies on combating the spread of dangerous drugs.
Unfortunately for all of us, the U.S. war on drugs has become, over the last decade, a war on marijuana users.
More than 75 per cent of all drug arrests in the U.S. are for marijuana.
Most of the U.S. federal government's funding for the war on drugs goes toward marijuana. Why? With some digging, the answer becomes clear.
Simply ask yourself who benefits from prohibition.
The primary beneficiaries of prohibition are politicians ( who can pretend to be "tough on drugs" by calling for more police and harsher penalties ), drug warriors ( police and the big anti-drug bureaucracy ), private interests that benefit from prohibition ( security services, media, prison-builders ), drug dealers and terrorists ( who fund their activities using profits derived from the vast drug markets ).
Eliminate marijuana from the drug war and there simply are not enough users of all the other illegal drugs to justify the massive government expenditures that flow from the war.
U.S. Judge James Grey, speaking recently at the Canadian Bar Association conference, made this case aptly by pointing out that the war on drugs is not winnable, but it is eminently fundable.
Canadians need to decide whether they will continue to pursue the failed, dangerous and expensive policy of prohibition simply to please our neighbours to the south. There certainly is no proof that a criminal law-based approach to drugs has any hope of success.
Kirk Tousaw Campaign Manager B.C. Marijuana Party
Quesnel Cariboo Observer (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Quesnel Cariboo Observer