I would like to correct Mr. Dale Shudras statement in his April 15th letter to The Pioneer about my views on marijuana.
I have never at any time indicated that marijuana should be legalized. What I have said as a candidate during previous federal elections, and continue to say now, is that possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use should be decriminalized. It is a fine distinction but an important one.
The prohibition against alcohol in the 1920s was a dismal failure. An unintended consequence of prohibition was the rise in the price of bootleg alcohol due to public demand. The rise in price brought organized crime and street violence.
The Conservatives National Anti-Drug Strategy also has the unintended consequence of keeping marijuana profitable enough to attract organized crime. That involvement then leads to violent crime throughout our society.
If you want to reduce organized crime violence and redirect valuable police resources to focus on hard drugs and other crime, drop the price of marijuana by decriminalizing possession of small amounts for personal use.
Finally, the single most important gateway drug is alcohol, not marijuana.