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Opinion From the comments: Readers perplexed by Trudeau’s endorsement of renewed ‘war on drugs’

Today’s comments were selected from Stephanie Nolen’s story Canada signs on to U.S.-led renewal of war on drugs and Caroline Alphonso’s story Walking the distance: Parents challenge rules that keep kids off school buses.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit plenary session at the United Nations headquarters, Monday Sept. 24, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

From Canada signs on to U.S.-led renewal of war on drugs by Stephanie Nolen

The war on drugs makes Vietnam look winnable. Since being declared by Richard Nixon in 1971, incarceration rates in the U.S. have quadrupled. Hundreds of thousands have died, organized crime has become stronger, and the rate of drug use has skyrocketed. It’s well past time we stopped this ridiculous experiment with prohibition since we have known for a century that it only makes things worse. Shame on the Canadian government for buying in to this risible policy. - WhistlingInTheDark

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America built a lot of prisons for their War on Drugs. And they did it privately, so they have a big industry to support. To this day they incarcerate more people per capita than any other country in the world. And their drug problem just gets worse and worse. Undoubtedly Trudeau and the Mexican president signed on to Trump’s fatwa in order to pave the way for the new NAFTA. I expect both Canada and Mexico will go their own way on drug control once it’s all settled. But just to re-emphasize the point that all forward-thinking countries have learned: Criminalizing drugs doesn’t work. - Richard Roskell

War on drugs is an industry in the United States meant not to eradicate drugs from society at large but to feed the players who participate in it. The law enforcement, the judiciary, penal industry (privately run jails) continues to suck vast amounts of dollars from the public coffers to fight this perpetual never ending war which most experts consider a waste and failure. Similar to war on terrorism which sucks vast amounts of money to feed the military industrial establishment. - joe_six-pack

What else readers are talking about:

Walking the distance: Parents challenge rules that keep kids off school buses by Caroline Alphonso

It appears that none of the commenters here have young kids walking to school downtown. It's not all lighted crossings and crossing guards. On residential downtown streets, there are usually parked cars on one (or sometimes both) side(s) of the road, which makes it difficult for drivers and kids to see each other. And during rush hour (which is prime time for walking to school), many drivers cut through residential neighborhoods at high speeds, to shave a few minutes off their commute.

Personally, I think the better solution to dangerous streets is better street infrastructure for improved pedestrian safety. I agree that it would be a huge shame for kids about 1 km away from school to be put on buses because the streets are too dangerous. I think the solution is improved pedestrian safety, not more buses. - MM3

Really? Urban kids walk on sidewalks and use lighted pedestrian crossings. Often, there are crossing guards, too. How much safer could it be? Walking will do them good. The minimum busing distance should be increased to 2 km, or more. - independentlypoor

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