Pubdate: Fri, 01 Apr 2005
Source: Ancaster News (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Brabant Newspapers
Author: Chris Goodwin


Prohibition creates the violence and crime. Legalizing marijuana will
end the cycle of violence and crime.

Second, there isn't a single activist I know who hasn't expressed
outrage and sadness at these officers' deaths. But the attempt to
demonize the marijuana culture by politicizing the actions of a
deranged, dangerous individual is more than pathetic.

It shows complete disregard for the untimely deaths of four human
beings. It also forces the hand of anti-prohibitionists to defend the
cannabis culture from a disparaging and illogical attack.

Furthermore, if Canadians really want to fix the problem, we should
end prohibition. It is a horrible mistake to use this tragedy as a
stepping stone to increase enforcement and harsher penalties.

This is because the shootings would likely never have occurred if
marijuana were able to be grown legally in an above-ground, regulated
market. Increased penalties and enforcement will virtually guarantee
that Canada has more of these tragic incidents.

Look at the United States, with its drug war mentality. Police there
are regularly shot while conducting military-style raids in connection
with the drug war. We must be careful not to import that type of
violence into Canada.

Finally, official reaction was predictable. Police called for harsher
penalties, telling the federal government to "wake up" and recognize
the connections between grow-operations, violence and organized crime.
Surprisingly, we agree with that basic point, the federal government
does need to recognize that prohibition has created a climate in which
organized crime can use violence to attempt to dominate the
marketplace and to resist police attempts to shut it down.

What our police officers fail to understand is their proposed
"solution" - enacting harsher laws - is a proven failure in the US and
will only lead to an escalation in the violence.

Chris Goodwin

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