TWO news events this week cast in stark relief the folly of Canada's drug war.
The first, highlighted on America's Election Night, was a decision by the people of Washington State to legalize the possession of marijuana and to regulate its production and sale. The second was the high-profile seizure of 300 kilograms of the drug, together with cash and cars, from members of a suspected crime ring following a seven-month investigation by Canadian police.
Side by side, the incidents paint a sad picture. Even as Washington residents are moving to place control of this relatively harmless substance into the hands of their government, Canadian taxpayers are spending untold sums to keep it in the hands of gangsters. The police involved in Tuesday's raids can't be blamed for doing their jobs, but the entire costly, dangerous exercise - and the time-consuming prosecutions that will follow - would be unnecessary were it not for our antiquated laws.
The reason moonshine is dead, the reason gangsters no longer run alcohol, the reason no one spends millions to seize a few kilograms of whiskey is that Americans of the 1930s recognized the destructiveness of alcohol prohibition and cast it aside. If the results of Tuesday's referenda are an indication, they are beginning to see that marijuana prohibition is much the same monster.
Rather than adopting ever-more-inane drug laws, Ottawa should learn from the progressive states south of the border.
Perhaps when our leaders see the sky there doesn't fall, they will start to understand the folly of their ways.