Educate youth on marijuana use

Young people should not smoke, whether it’s cannabis or tobacco.

To the Editor,

Re: Pot legalization gets support from municipal reps, April 26.

I agree with Mayor John Ruttan’s recent comment that young people should not smoke, whether it’s cannabis or tobacco.

However, if they do choose between the two, I hope it’s a decision which does not include them among the 40,000 Canadian deaths which occur annually.

According to Health Canada, fewer and fewer young people have started smoking over the past decade.

This change in national behaviour was accomplished through education and the regulation of tobacco products, and not by threatening smokers with arrest, criminal records, or imprisonment.

The same healthy outcomes associated with diminishing tobacco use can be most likely accomplished with the legal and regulated production, distribution and sale of cannabis products against a background of education based on the science of psychoactive substances.

The black market which we have created through anti-drug laws is the source of far too much urban property crime and violence.

Mayors should heed the majority of B.C. residents who are skeptical about the “war on drugs” and want marijuana controlled in the same way as tobacco and alcohol.

John F. Anderson

vice-president

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (Canada)