Pubdate: Wed, 21 Feb 2007
Source: Merritt Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Merritt Herald
Author: Matthew M. Elrod



I hate to rain on your parade, but more citizens reporting each other
to the police for growing cannabis will not improve the situation.
(You can help, Feb. 14). The police do not lack intelligence -- so to

The number of growing operations reported to police in B.C. is
increasing by about 48 per cent per year, outpacing efforts to
investigate and close them down.

According to the RCMP, the national annual seizure average is about
1,300,000 plants. This translates into an annual production estimate
ranging between 1,070 and 2,676 metric tonnes of herbal cannabis.

Only 51 tonnes were seized in 2005, or less than two per cent of the

As with wolves and their prey, police predation merely culls out the

Grow operations get bigger and growers become more "organized." Large
busts may cause growers to compete, sometimes violently, for the unmet
demand, or they may create openings for new, more robust, distribution

When all goes as planned, the price of cannabis rises. When the price
of cannabis rises, the incentive to grow and traffic rises in tandem.
Consumers substitute other drugs, primarily alcohol, causing domestic
abuse, emergency room episodes, traffic accidents and all the social
costs associated with alcohol to rise as well.

Further, the "war on drugs" diverts finite resources away from the
investigation and prevention of other crimes; rape, murder, theft,
etc. Studies have shown that communities that increase relative
spending on drug law enforcement experience higher levels of crime and

Einstein defined insanity as continuing to do the same things and
expecting different results. Rather than report one another to the
police, the public should urge Ottawa to adopt the recommendations of
the Special Senate Committee on Illegal Drugs -- legalize, tax and
regulate the cannabis trade.


Matthew M. Elrod

Victoria, B.C.
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MAP posted-by: Matt Elrod