Reefer madness

MARIJUANA activists celebrate today as 4-20. The origin stories abound, but today has become moment for activists to defy the law and spark a joint in public.

A week that ends with a protest began with our Conservative prime minister publicly admitting the war on drugs "is not working."

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Thanks for catching up, Stephen Harper. How does anyone call themselves a conservative and still get behind a massively expensive government program that intrudes on people's lives and totally fails to achieve its stated objective, year after year, decade after decade? It's good that Harper has grasped the obvious, but we have to wonder why he presses ahead with a crime bill he knows won't work. Scrap the census, scrap the long gun registry, but throw away taxpayers' money on a drug policy you publicly admit has failed? It's time for new policy.

It's time for a grown-up discussion about substance use. Lumping marijuana in with crystal meth as a "drug" while ignoring the effects of alcohol or tobacco is totally wrong-headed. We need to drop the 1930s attitude that "reefer madness" will destroy society and remember the real lesson of the 1930s: prohibition doesn't work, and it hands huge amounts of money to organized crime. Ask John McKay, the man who put Marc Emery in jail. Ask the Economist magazine. Ask the Fraser Institute. Ask the folks at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

We call on our MPs, John Weston and Andrew Saxton, to help figure out a new substance policy that doesn't subsidize gangs and doesn't wreck peoples' lives.

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