Pubdate: Sat, 07 Feb 2004
Source: Coast Reporter (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Coast Reporter
Author: Ian Jacques, Editor
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Last week Sunshine Coast Regional District director Adrian Belshaw may
have put his foot in his mouth when he publicly told police to stop
busting marijuana growers.

We're curious as to where Mr. Belshaw's head was at when he made this
statement - and judging by several letters to the editor we have
received this week, we aren't the only ones.

To refresh your memory, Belshaw said, "The current squandering of
police resources on busting grow-ops, that are currently bringing more
money into the community than logging is, should stop." Belshaw made
these comments during a discussion about RCMP priorities at an SCRD
committee meeting.

Belshaw suggests police should use resources more effectively for such
things as traffic enforcement and violent crime.

While we can agree that traffic enforcement and violent crime are also
important, we wonder what Adrian defines as violent crime?

In case he didn't know, recent reports in Vancouver newspapers have
suggested that B.C. marijuana is financing guns being used by soldiers
in Afghanistan.

If this information isn't violent enough, how about other problems
associated with grow-ops, such as rental homes being destroyed,
property values decreasing in areas where known drug houses are
located, B.C. Hydro theft, home invasions and biker-gang affiliations.
All sounds pretty violent to us and not things people on the Sunshine
Coast, or anywhere for that matter, want to be associated with.

Belshaw is way out of line with his reckless notion that police should
stop busting grow shows. After all, producing drugs is an illegal
activity. Aren't the police supposed to target illegal, criminal activity?

Belshaw is right on one thing, though - marijuana grow-ops are
bringing in big bucks, but it's for all the wrong reasons.

We think Belshaw should concentrate on being an SCRD director and
worry about issues like the grants-in-aid debate, the new SCRD budget,
the water treatment plant and the countless other issues that are
being faced by SCRD directors.

The police are paid to do a job. Politicians should let them get on
with it and not comment on things they know very little about.
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