Pubdate: Tue, 12 Jun 2001
Source: Nelson Daily News (CN BC)
Section: Letters
Copyright: 2001 Nelson Daily News
Author: Dustin Sunflower Cantwell


This letter is in response to the recent cannabis bust in Fairview.

When is this city's Police force going to realize that every time they bust 
cannabis growers or smokers that their respect within this community drops, 
not to mention the division it causes between neighbors?

The sensational estimates of this grow operations yield are laughable. The 
plants were in their early stages which means that they hadn't been sexed 
yet.  Even out of a total of 151 plants only 75 would be female,  I'd say 
50 if they were lucky.  Const. Paul Burkart estimates that he had the 
"satisfaction" of stopping 750 ounces from reaching the streets, nearly 
fifty pounds!  That is close to a pound per plant and  reminds me of Jack 
and the Beanstalk!  This whole story is a big fairy tale.  The only reason 
these estimates are so high is to bolster the idea that they were doing 
something important!

"Responding to information received last month" and after investigating for 
a couple of weeks, they busted this family.  They waited until the children 
were at school,  how gracious!  Perhaps they could explain to the children 
why their parents were arrested for growing flowers.  Where is the respect 
to be gained from such action? While they were busy busting up this family 
there were real crimes being perpetrated,  but hey its easy to bust 
cannabis growers they don't even resist arrest!  Easy pickin's and a great 
way to get a promotion!

I believe that we need police officers.  When Holy Smoke was vandalized and 
had one of our windows smashed in the City Police guarded our store for an 
entire evening till we arrived in the morning for work.  For their 
diligence and duty in this instance they earned my respect.  But when the 
police decide to concentrate their energies on "harmless" activities like 
cannabis growing an ever widening gap will open up between the people and 
the police.

The police, because of their enforcement of cannabis laws and the 
widespread use of cannabis in the community, can cause a real serious 
alienation of a large segment of the population from co-operating with 
them. Iam sure this was true in the Ken Hamm murder investigation.

Another detrimental effect of these busts is the "tattle tale" syndrome. 
Neighbors seeking revenge or retribution can call anyone in on the 
"suspicion" of growing.  This breaks down trust in the community.

Lets get our priorities straight and concentrate our valuable Police time 
on "harmful" crimes thereby helping to restore the respect Police Officers 
need to be of effect.

Dustin Sunflower Cantwell
Holy Smoke Culture Shop
Nelson,  B.C.
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