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Drug abuse is bad, but prohibition is worse
Monday, 15 June 2009

When it comes to drugs, mandatory minimum prison sentences are proven failures. If harsh sentences deterred illicit drug use, Canada’s southern neighbor would be a “drug-free” America. That’s not the case. The U.S.
drug war has done little other give the land of the free the highest incarceration rate in the world.

The drug war is a cure worse than the disease. Drug prohibition finances organized crime at home and terrorism abroad, which is then used to justify increased drug war spending. It's time to end this madness and instead treat all substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the public health problem it is.

Thanks to public education efforts, tobacco use has declined considerably in recent years. Apparently mandatory minimum prison sentences, civil asset forfeiture, random drug testing and racial profiling are not necessarily the most cost-effective means of discouraging unhealthy choices. Drug abuse is bad, but the drug war is worse.

Robert Sharpe
Policy Analyst
Common Sense for Drug Policy

How will President-elect Obama pay for his socialist agenda?
Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Dear Editor,

I, like many Canadians, watched the 2008 presidential election results with high interest for various personal reasons, one of which is that the United States is our largest trading partner. The results of that election, some argue, will impact our lives greater than our own federal election. The United States is facing very difficult times financially, as are many other countries in the free world. Citizens of all countries are expecting an end to the deadly financial downward spiral the economy of the United States and many other countries are experiencing.

President-elect Obama has proposed some very socialist concepts for his administration when he takes office in January 2009. He has not, however, shown any realistic plan of how these social benefits and reforms by government will be financed. These changes, if implemented in these times of already strained financial burdens, could cause investors to seek other investment opportunities in resource rich Western Canada. These proposed socialist policies could, however, reduce the buying power of Americans which would have a very negative impact on the Canadian economy and other countries in the world.

Ken Kellington
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Counselor delivers sermon on addiction
Sunday, 28 September 2008

"Addicts are not bad people who need to get good, they are sick people needing to get well," said Ellen deGraad, licensed drug /alcohol counselor, in her sermon at the UU Church of Stillwater, OK, September 14, 2008.

She continued, "Years of using alcohol and drugs cause the brain to become inflamed. You will not get well or good behavior from an inflamed brain. By definition a disease is chronic, progressive, fatal and relapse-able."

It all begins innocently enough. Her patients tell her they started through social or peer pressure, to fit in, to ease tension, or stress, to numb the emotional pain of past trauma, to enhance life or to increase productivity. What they don't realize is that their bodies would begin to change on a cellular level. No one told them that once a cucumber becomes a pickle, it can never be a cucumber again. No one told them they risked a lifetime disease.

deGraad continued, "Addiction is a dis-regulation of the pleasure center of the primitive (reptilian) brain, the part of the brain that deals with survival. Is it any wonder that the addictive process is so strong? The American Psychiatric Association endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice."

Her view is that religious communities need to rethink current policies of punishment and incarceration. As family and friends become sick drug war laws continue to punish rather than treat the problem. It is a disease owned by individuals, families, and the nation.

Ron du Bois


The Western Standard has provided recent coverage of drug policy reform issues here and here.

The “proper authorities” will be informed
Saturday, 6 September 2008

Dear Editor,

I understand ignorance; I understand stupidity; I understand small-minded crap spouted by off the rails idiots. What I don't understand is a broadsheet/blogging website allowing pure, unadulterated garbage to enter their site - probably under some axiom relating to a "free press."

Your editorial board needs a right proper hosing for allowing such despicable comment as that below. [The letter writing is referring to an anonymous comment about Governor General Michaelle Jean on the Shotgun blog.] For a measly comment, it is little but lies, blatant racism and disrespect to the office of the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and our governing system -- and you know it.

You have the wherewithal to delete such trash and didn't. You are accountable!

The proper authorities will be informed.

Ken Smith
Tsawwassen, British Columbia

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