Letters to the Editor

Harshing pot debate won’t work

UBC associate professor Mark Haden tells a crowd at Jan. 23 meeting that drug prohibition should be abolished. - Sarah Massah photo
UBC associate professor Mark Haden tells a crowd at Jan. 23 meeting that drug prohibition should be abolished.
— image credit: Sarah Massah photo


Re: Legal marijuana ‘only a matter of time,’ Jan. 28.

I read with interest the article regarding the prospect of legalized marijuana.

It seems that there is support from doctors for medical usage. Recreational usage is being considered.

I have no problem with the Liberal plan to legalize marijuana. It is here to stay and a plan to control and even tax this material seems the best approach.

Getting out in front is clever of the Liberals.

I was interested to see that the Conservative MP seems to have strong feelings on the subject but could not find time to attend the panel discussion. It appears that he would not legalize it; but for consistency, should he not make alcohol illegal as well? It has much greater negative social consequence. Traffic deaths and health issues come to mind.

That approach didn’t work the last time it was tried. But, using bad ideas has never been a problem for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It seems, as long as it plays to the base, it’s a good idea.

George Stone, White Rock

• • •

As a co-chair for the recent town hall forum hosted by the South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale federal Liberals, I was pleased to see your coverage of our event.

With the recent legalization in Colorado and just across the border in Washington state, we felt it timely to discuss this topic with residents.

We recognized this as a controversial issue for some, so for over an hour the expert panelists at our forum presented the facts and evidence around marijuana prohibition and the impacts of legalization; from crime, public health, economic and policy perspectives. Many people asked thoughtful questions, received thoughtful replies, and had a chance to share their views.

In contrast to our open exchange, MP Russ Hiebert chose to not even respond to your request for an interview, and instead pass down the Conservative position through his staff. No facts, evidence or dialogue needed, or wanted.

Even the statement that by addressing this subject it is somehow the Liberals’ “top priority” is straight from the Harper playbook for attacking Justin Trudeau.

It’s not going to work. Liberals will continue to engage Canadians in open and meaningful dialogue and base policies on the evidence. We were encouraged by the attendance and are planning further community discussions on issues of interest and importance to the people of South Surrey and White Rock.

Jeff Ballingall, Surrey

• • •

It looks like the Conservative member is still suffering from the peculiar reefer-madness effect that marijuana has on those who don’t use it.

W. Paul Blakey, Sechelt



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