Pubdate: Wed, 23 Jun 2004
Source: Advertiser (CN NF)
Copyright: 2004 Advertiser
Author: Sue Hickey
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Cannabis and Driving)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


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.