Pubdate: Sat, 13 Nov 2004
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Duncan News Leader
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Inspector Linton Robinson is right.

The amount of illegal drug activity in the Valley is considerable and far 
beyond the detachment's current ability to police.

Marijuana is easily accessible and a cash cow for a number of underground 
entrepreneurs. And underground profits are leading to organized crime and 
all of the dangerous and violent side effects that come with it.

And we also agree with Robinson that pouring in more resources is necessary 
to help police efforts and make more arrests and convictions.

But we worry that it may also lead to more sophisticated operations - 
pumping up the cost of doing business for organized crime and therefore the 
stakes of the business and the dangers associated with it.

Wouldn't it be simpler, cheaper and safer to decrminalize marijuana, take 
it out of the hands of organized crime and put it in the hands of the 

Wouldn't the community be better off if marijuana growers were taxed and 
the money put toward health care?

Wouldn't we be safer if our sizable pot industry operated with debit cards 
and storefronts rather than guns and basements?

Wouldn't the community be better off if the resources used to arrest and 
prosecute pot growers went instead toward educating users on its dangers?

We do not advocate pot use, not any more than we advocate smoking tobacco, 
drinking alcohol or overeating.

We just would rather have our understaffed and underfunded police 
department focused on laws that increase public safety rather than reduce it.
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