“An officer there, estimated that 90 per cent of the local detachment’s files related in some way to alcohol —‑society’s legal drug.
I wonder what would happen to crime rates if we were to add another legalized drug to that list?”
If for no other reason than huge numbers of Canadians will not be charged for possession, crime rates would go down. Anyway, you are mistaken in two respects. 1) There is no firm evidence that marijuana use would sky rocket as a result of legalization. 2) Even if marijuana use did increase as a result of legalization, this would not occasion, for example, a spike in domestic violence. Marijuana is not physically addictive the way heroin, cocaine and even alcohol are and so there is no violence associated with the marijuana use and people needing a fix. Furthermore, as was noted by the US Department of Justice, there is some truth to the mellow stoner stereotype; marijuana "temporarily inhibit[s] violent behavior."
Needless to say, making marijuana legal would lead to drop in crimes associated with its illegal status.
Finally legalizing marijuana would sure up people’s respect for the law. As the Edmonton Sun noted recently most recent UN report on drug show if nothing else that
“Canadians don't care what the law says about marijuana. They're going to smokehttp://www.edmontonsun.com/Comment/2007/07/11/4330020-sun.html
pot anyway. The possibility of punishment, in other words, has no deterrent effect whatsoever. As far as marijuana is concerned, Canadians think the law is an ass. And that isn't going to change.”
Most Canadian columnists, your self excluded, and most of the Canadian public alike do not believe in the rationale for keeping it illegal. Hell even the politicians do not believe in the law. Martin, Dion, Layton and Duceppe freely admitted to having tired it. Chrétien joked about decriminalizing it and according to Gordan Gibson this is what Pierre Trudeau had this to say.
“The report [Le Dain Commission] was released as we were touring a bull-semenhttp://www.cannabisculture.com/forums/printthread.php?Board=current&main=1130356&type=post
facility in Guelph, Ont. (I am not making this up.) The press cared not at all about productive agriculture and totally about weed. At an end-of-tour press conference, the prime minister was asked if he favoured decriminalization. We were in the semen facility's boardroom and it had a blackboard with a permanent picture of Elsie the cow painted on, perhaps in recognition of the customer base. Mr. Trudeau was very quick. Saying not a word, he went to the blackboard, took the chalk and drew a cartoonist's balloon out of the cow's mouth. Inside he slowly wrote, "I like grass!" The room dissolved in laughter.”
Last, but not least there are the two government reports on the
“The ordinary citizen, seeing the assertions implied by the law frequently belied by pharmacological fact or the effects that he himself experiences in the use of drugs, has long since ceased to look for a relationship between the harmfulness of a substance and its classification under criminal law. In this domain, it must be said that the criminal law is thoroughly outdated and outworn." Marie-Andrée Bertrand, Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Montreal, Le Dain Commission 1973.
"Scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that cannabis is substantially less harmful than alcohol and should be treated not as a criminal issue but as a social and public health issue,"
Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, chair of the committee.