Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada“The real problem with prohibition is that it costs lives.”
Bob Dillman is a former correctional officer and senior staff for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice at both the Yarmouth and the Southwest correctional facilities. He trained staff and helped author the primary policy and procedure standing orders for the Southwest Nova Correctional Facility. With an educational background in human services from George Brown College, he focused on counseling inmates, virtually all of whom were in for drug-related offenses.
“I wanted to become a correctional officer to help those who needed to know there is a way out of a bad life situation,” he says. What he learned, however, was that the government had no interest in helping people in desperate need, including himself, when he was denied the benefits of medical marijuana for a serious workplace injury. He saw that potentially deadly prescription drugs were being pushed on a vulnerable public because of the political power of the pharmaceutical industry.
In fact, Bob believes that most people who use drugs want to view the police as helpers, not as the threat that prohibitionist polices make them and that police have more pressing criminal activities to worry about than non-violent drug offenses. He explains, “If they ended prohibition today, it would save millions of tax dollars, the crime rate would be cut to an all-time low, the criminal element wouldn’t be involved, and politicians wouldn’t have to build new jails or make cuts to health care.”
But the real problem with prohibition, he points out, is that, “it costs lives.”