Pubdate: Tue, 14 Jan 2003
Source: Sooke News Mirror (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Sooke News Mirror


Everyone should try to be a good neighbour -- whether it be lending a cup 
of sugar or doing what they can to deal with problems in our community such 
as marijuana grow operations. The story on the front page of this edition 
details how these grow operations are damaging real estate property in this 
community. Some real damage is being done and landlords and unknowing 
buyers are left holding the bag.

But real estate damage is only just one chapter in the pot tales. The 
decrimilization and legalization of marijuana continues to be a topic of 
discussion for good reason. Problems associated with marijuana could better 
be dealt with if it was legalized and regulated like alcohol. By doing this 
money earned from sales could be taken out of the hands of the criminal 
element -- where it can be funneled into such activities as prostitution -- 
and placed into those of business people, thus creating jobs. Once 
legalized and regulated the government could tax the formerly illegal drug 
and then use that money to support a variety of social and health programs 
for the good of the country.

But that's the future. For the moment marijuana, unless in special cases, 
is illegal and these operations are selling to the youth of our community.

This is a major reason why we must be good neighbours and be aware of what 
is going on in our neighbourhoods. Residents in the Minnie Road area banded 
together to help the Sooke RCMP bust up what was alleged to be a 
drug-selling operation. A marijuana grow operation on Kemp Lake Road was 
broken up in December thanks to anonymous tips received by the RCMP. 
Without the input of community members who cared who knows how long these 
operations could have continued.

Reporting suspicious comings and goings and activities doesn't make you a 
bad neighbour. In fact, it shows that you care about your community and our 
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom