Pubdate: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 Source: Advertiser (CN NF) Copyright: 2004 Advertiser Contact: http://advertiser.optipresspublishing.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/3453 Author: Sue Hickey Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/pot.htm (Cannabis) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/find?224 (Cannabis and Driving) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/coke.htm (Cocaine) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/decrim.htm (Decrim/Legalization) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mdma.htm (Ecstasy) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/heroin.htm (Heroin) Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/meth.htm (Methamphetamine) ANOTHER REASON TO KEEP AWAY FROM DRUGS By the sound of news reports, it's been an interesting year for the RCMP and the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. The two forces had worked for at least a year on a Canada-wide investigation, one that culminated with the busting of a major crime ring. Approximately 20 people in this province were arrested in connection with the dealings of the ring, activities that involved stealing and selling cars, as well as drug trafficking. With the latter, the alleged offenders were trafficking not only marijuana, but steroids and methamphetamine, known on the street as "Ecstasy," a nasty little drug that causes body temperatures to skyrocket, resulting in brain damage. Some people, most notably supporters of decriminalizing and/or legalizing marijuana use, are probably shaking their heads at this latest turn of events. If dope were legalized, police forces wouldn't have to waste resources on busting criminals. Drug dealers wouldn't make any money on selling marijuana, they argue. The Conservative Party isn't big on decriminalizing, a position that doesn't sit well with some pot-smokers in this region. One local resident even said that MP Rex Barnes, and therefore his party, was "trying to make him a criminal." However you may feel about the alleged health benefits of using some types of drugs - and you also may point out that two of the most dangerous drugs, alcohol and nicotine, are perfectly legal - the fact is that as the law stands, there is a list of substances which are illegal (unless you use marijuana for health purposes with the blessing of Health Canada) in this country. And if you buy drugs such as marijuana, in the long run you are no better than the people who willingly buy and sell products such as "blood diamonds" (proceeds from many of the world's diamond mines, particularly in parts of Africa, go to support terrorist activities) or toys and clothing made by sweatshops and forced labour. When you purchase illegal substances, you're ultimately helping to back individuals who stop at nothing to make money. But you may say it's just a "bit of stuff" from your buddy, who got it from a friend of his. But where did that friend get his stash? Ultimately, that "bit of stuff" likely originated from someone who's dealing in more than hash. These people are selling the hard stuff. When you buy a few grams of pot to roll some joints, your money ultimately supports a network of people pushing heroin and cocaine. These are the same people who don't have a problem targeting down-and-out women, getting them hooked on hard drugs and ultimately driving them into the sex trade to support a habit generated by the person who buys a dime of hash. And we've seen what happened to prostitutes in Vancouver - they met their lonely end on a pig farm in Port Coquitlam. And that heroin also came from the poppy fields of Afghanistan, and the proceeds are going to support terrorists. Don't malign someone because they're anti-drug and you enjoy your toke. It's an illegal activity. And even if you're buying a relatively harmless substance, you're still supporting a network of violence, hatred and human rights abuses - one that exploits human weaknesses to make money at all costs.