Senators' Misplaced Priorities

Senators' Misplaced Priorities
Posted by CN Staff on May 21, 2002 at 10:57:02 PT
By Colin Mangham, Vancouver Sun 
Source: Vancouver Sun 
Much ado has been made about the report of the Senate committee on illegal drugs, which recently met in Richmond, recommending the decriminalization of marijuana. This is not surprising, since this was the conclusion the committee drew even before it even began, as intoned in its mission statement. As a parent, taxpayer and one who provided expert testimony before this committee, I am appalled that its members selectively ignored testimony they did not agree with, solicited testimony supportive of their bias and failed to actively seek testimony from an array of researchers and experts who would have categorically and scientifically damned the idea. 
The truth is, marijuana is an addictive drug, capable of inflicting significant physical, emotional and social harm. There is no war on drugs in Canada, as the committee claims, nor are Canadians being charged now for using marijuana unless they have also committed other crimes. At present, the law plays the role of a moral deterrent, hence the use of marijuana is but a fraction of that of alcohol and tobacco, which are legal. Fewer than 10 per cent of Canadians used marijuana in the past year. But perhaps the most troubling thing to me is that energy and tax dollars should be spent on the question of whether to make it easier for Canadians, especially young Canadians, to get intoxicated on a drug. Am I alone in thinking it is sad indeed that this represents the low level of respect and hope senators have for our children and youth? Is this the best thing they can spend time on? When Canada faces such huge challenges, why would we even be thinking about spending time trying to make it easier to use dope?I wonder where are the Senate proposals fostering youth achievement, youth employment, appreciation for youth or how to help a young generation avoid drugs in the first place?Canadians should "just say no" and rebuke the committee for such an insult to our youth, and for such a use of precious dollars.Colin ManghamDirector, Prevention Source B.C.Source: Vancouver Sun Author: Colin Mangham, Vancouver Sun Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2002Copyright: 2002 Vancouver SunContact: sunletters pacpress.southam.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Canadian Links a Crime The Debate Over Decriminalization We Treat Pot Like Tobacco? Senators Ask 
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