Why do you support the legalization of marijuana

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Monday, 21 April 2008

Open Letter to the Government of Canada

Sorry for the delay in posting this, I guess I celebrated 420 a little too hard. Well my open letter to the Government went out on time this year, even if posting it was delayed. Here is what the letter stated:

Addressed to:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Member of Parliament Robert Douglas Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Member of Parliament Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety
Member of Parliament James Michael Flaherty Minister of Finance
Member of Parliament Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Member of Parliament Tony Clement Minister of Health
Member of Parliament Jack Layton NDP Leader
Member of Parliament Stephane Dion Liberal Leader
Member of Parliament Irene Mathyssen London-Fanshawe

One year ago I wrote an open letter to the government urging the representatives to take a serious look at the marijuana laws. The letter was sent last year to Stephen Harper, Robert Nicholson, Tony Clement, and Irene Mathyssen. Robert Nicholson and Irene Mathyssen were kind enough to respond to my letter, however it is time again for me to send another, I have broadened my range of who receives this letter, but the goal is the same. To open the eyes of the people who represent the will of Canadians to the facts around marijuana and hopefully open up a debate.

I am well aware of the Conservative Governments stance on drug laws. It is the belief of the government that stronger enforcement will equal less drugs on the street, and that loosening the laws will mean more marijuana in the hands of children. I would like to point out some serious flaws in this thinking.

Stronger enforcement has little to no effect on the supply of drugs on the street. In the United States the punishment for possession is considerably stiffer then here in Canada, and yet polls still demonstrate that kids find it easier to obtain marijuana then alcohol, a legal and regulated substance.

Legalizing and regulating the drug, much in the way we handle alcohol, will have a much further reaching effect. If you doubt this look at the Netherlands where it is legal to sell marijuana under strictly regulated circumstances, the rate of underage marijuana use is on the decline, something no state with anti marijuana laws has managed.

In my opinion keeping marijuana prohibited does more harm then good. Currently marijuana production and distribution is in the hands of criminals, not the most honest of people. These criminals do not ask their clients for identification they don’t care if their customers are 21 or 12, if marijuana were a legal and regulated substance it could be enforced that anyone selling to a minor is breaking the law, much the same as we do with tobacco and alcohol.

From a purely financial standpoint the legalization and regulation of marijuana can bring millions, if not billions, into the federal and provincial coffers in licensing fees for growers and sellers, and taxes on the actual products. This is much preferable to the roughly 400 million we currently spend on enforcing marijuana laws.

The dangers of marijuana have been greatly overstated, while I agree it is not completely without risk all substances, including table salt, contain risk. The government needs to take a look at the relative risk factors and see if it is really logical to keep marijuana a prohibited substance.

420 Guy
Constituent of London Fanshawe Riding
London Ontario

Any answers I get to the letter will be posted on the blog as well.

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If Marijuana became legalized would you support its taxation?

Do you think our economy can be saved by legalizing marijuana

What do you think the Origins of the slang term 420 is

Would you vote for a politician solely on their stance on Marijuana?

What is your prefered method of using pot? (assuming price is no issue)

If marijuana were legal would you grow your own or buy from a store?

If you use marijuana do your family members no

Do you consider yourself a Pot Head

How often do you use marijuana?