Saturday, March 12, 2005

Vancouver Sun raises the flag for legalization

The entire editorial series on marijuana legalization in the Vancouver Sun, is now archived here at the Media Awareness Project. We already looked at the first two. Part III examines the flaws of the currently pending decrim legislation. The bill is a disaster. Decriminalizing small amounts while upping the penalties on the producers will only serve to drive the industry straight into the arms of organized crime. The only deterrent will be to the small time providers who currently keep at least some of the trade out of the hands of professional criminals.

Part IV looks to the future and sees the potential for Canada to take the lead in sensible cannabis policy. The editorial puts the blame for the current drug war folly right where it belongs, square on the shoulders of the US and its intractable position on the plant. US pressure brought the UN conventions into agreement with this stance and it ensures compliance among the member nations by tying foreign aid allocation according to their willingness to participate in the sham war. The Sun challenges Ottawa to stand up for its sovereignty and choose common sense.

The series ends with these words.
The U.S. might well remain intransigent, but as the international community harnesses and distributes more and more evidence about the harm caused by the war on marijuana, some nations might feel empowered to consider marijuana legalization and regulation on a trial basis. Should such trials prove successful, other countries would likely follow.

All of this must begin, though, with a commitment from Ottawa to develop a national drug strategy, and to communicate the results of its work to the world. The world is not losing the war on marijuana: It's a war we've already lost. Canada can help to unify the globe in its efforts to minimize the harms caused not only by drugs, but by drug laws.
Take a moment to reflect on the import of this. With an average daily circulation of 203,390, for the Sun to have come out in favor of legalization is no small potatoes and would not have happened except for the work of the tireless activists in Canada who have kept the issue alive and in the forefront of public dialogue. Good work folks.


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