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Driving tourists away

Photo by Glenn Tucker

Appalled by searchesMay 19, 2012Dear Sir,My last Letter to the Editor - which got more than its share of replies - was to make the point that if there are laws “on the books” for certain things deemed offences, those laws ought to be applied evenly and fairly across the board, to every accused.I am appalled though to read of the sniffer-dog searches on board cruise ships! This smacks of invasion of privacy to me. As long as no drugs are not brought ashore, nor found on the person while s/he is on the Island, something needs to be done about this regulation, to modify it ... what business is it of the local police and the local courts?And an $800 fine? What a money grab! As if the tourist industry were not in bad enough shape!Who do the powers that be think is on these cruise ships? I can tell you from personal experience that most passengers have barely saved up the cost of such a holiday, and certainly cannot afford such a huge additional expense.Please rethink this. I believe I have read that some modification to the laws on possession has already been proposed. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of this discussion.YD MILLINGTONLongueuil, QuebecStop the Gestapo tacticsMay 18, 2012Dear Sir,It is high time we stopped these Gestapo tactics, storming on board cruise ship with sniffer dogs, bursting into cabins and snooping through people’s underwear to find traces of soft drugs. This is an invasion of privacy of the worst sort, and it would not surprise me if cruise ships stopped coming here on account of this. We should remember that cannabis is legal in some states, and often prescribed for medical purposes. It is time we stopped penalising young people for this minor offence, and legalised small amounts of soft drugs for personal use.This would not only improve relations with cruise ship passengers, but go a long way towards reducing violent crime, most of which is drug motivated.Please let us look at the possibilities of changing the present archaic law and make soft drugs in small quantities legal. Perhaps it would have the same result on drug users as lifting prohibition had on drinkers; many people just stopped drinking when booze became legal. You just never know.E RABENPaget