Letters: Impairment costs us all

Alcohol related crashes costly in every province in Canada

Further to “Alcohol more harmful than marijuana” (Feb. 8 Sooke News Mirror).

Part of LEAP Canada’s stated mission is “to lessen the incidence of death, disease, crime and addiction by ultimately ending drug prohibition.”

In the 2011 report, estimating the number and cost of impairment, MADD estimates that between 1999 and 2008, alcohol-impaired car crashes cost the country about $20 billion, or some $600 per capita.  To British Columbia, this would be an annual cost of about $3 billion.

A 2006 report to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse shows the annual cost of alcohol abuse to Ontario, in 2006,  to be more than $5 billion. In 2012 it would be even more. Costs to Ontario associated with tobacco consumption exceed even those related to alcohol.

Pro-rating these per capita amounts to B.C. would leave this province with combined annual health and social costs for two legalized drugs exceeding $5 billion.

Is the answer here to be found in delisting cannabis to the status of another legalized, recreational drug?  Maybe not.

Brian Nimeroski

Sooke

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