Pubdate: Tue, 08 Mar 2005
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Times Colonist
Author: Brian Turner
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (CN Police)


The slaying of four RCMP officers is tragic and horrifying enough to 
justify publicity and attention. It provides a challenge for all of us to 
think clearly -- and not resort to using it to promote whatever views we 
happen to hold.

Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan (and several letters-to-the-editor 
writers) have not handled this challenge as well as we have every right to 
expect. McLellan was one of the first to blame marijuana grow ops and some 
police representatives were quick to jump into line. Increased access to 
B.C. Hydro bills and tougher marijuana laws were demanded. The war on drugs 
was warming up -- with the chances of spending a lot of money greatly 
exceeding the chances of a final victory.

James Roszko was a self-described cop-hater and a wildly dangerous man 
feared by his neighbours. He had a criminal record. The police went to his 
farm to recover stolen property and were attacked by his guard dogs before 
the four policemen were shot with an assault rifle designed to kill people, 
and illegal. The relatively small number of marijuana plants (20) were not 
the reason for the raid and they were not a cause of the tragic results.

The police funerals this week will make it even more difficult to think 
clearly but to do so in no way dishonours the lives or service of those 
four young men.

Brian Turner, Victoria.
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