It is well worth a read in that it points the federal government to where they should be going on this issue.
"This whole sorry history, reflects the sorry history of prohibition in the United States," where anti-pot mania falsely lumped the relatively benign hallucinogen in with brutal narcotics like heroin. - Madame Justice Mary Southin, The Province, Wednesday, June 25, 2003
The Province, June 25, 2003
Let them fret. Southin's comments about the hopelessness of pot prohibition and the historical jiggery-pokery that led to it make more sense than anything coming out of Parliament these days.
A 15-year veteran of B.C.'s highest court, Southin has judged over 40 cases involving pot, "which appears to be of no greater danger to society than alcohol."
Heresy to the crusaders, no doubt, but an observation backed up by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. In fact, the centre says booze causes far worse problems and thousands of deaths every year.
When's the last time you heard of someone dying from a pot overdose? Indeed, Southin observes that marijuana smokers "are no better or worse, morally or physically, than people who like a martini."
Or maybe more than one martini, and many glasses of wine, and then get behind the wheel of a car drunk. As Premier Gordon Campbell did in Hawaii, and tens of thousands do across Canada every year.
Southin notes marijuana-busting "is the source of much work" for police and courts, but whether that "contributes to peace, order and good government is another matter."
"This whole sorry history," she continues, "reflects the sorry history of prohibition in the United States," where anti-pot mania falsely lumped the relatively benign hallucinogen in with brutal narcotics like heroin.
Parliament, she suggests, was "hoodwinked" in the 1920s and 1930s "by the propaganda" against pot also cited in last year's Senate committee report calling for legalization of the weed.
That report terms 1908 to 1960 a "period of hysteria" when drug laws were "largely based on moral panic, racist sentiment and a notorious absence of debate."
We've got more debate now, but much of it replays the tired old falsehoods. Bravo, Madame Justice Southin.
Tags: Marijuana, Drugs, Politics, News, Current Affairs, Culture, Weed, POT, Hemp, Canada, USA, Marc Emery, legalize it