Pubdate: Fri, 01 May 2009
Source: Langley Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Langley Times
Author: Tony Smith


Editor: Is he on the same planet?

I find it bizarre that Dr. Darryl Plecas' comments (The Times, April 
26), tend to be in contradiction to those of most other 
criminologists, and often common sense.

I do not know if his position as holder of the RCMP research chair 
has anything to do with this, but tend to suspect that he may be in 
the same position as the MD's employed by the pharmaceutical 
companies to validate their products.

While we tend to be fixated on gangs and drugs, I would like first to 
question this fixation by Dr. Plecas. If we are to have our savings 
and chances of a reasonable retirement stolen from us, it will 
probably be as a result of fraud. The chances of that fraud being 
carefully investigated are slim to none.

A significant proportion of the elderly who are victims of these 
frauds will commit suicide. Despite overwhelming evidence of 
countless stock market frauds, resulting in multi-million dollar 
losses to Canadians yearly, prosecutions can be counted on the 
fingers of one hand. The same applies to all the other types of frauds.

Today it is possible that, as a result of fraudulent behaviour by 
banks, involving over $60 trillion in losses, the whole world's 
economy is at serious risk.

Drugs have been with us since the beginning of time. We first see 
opium production recorded in Mesopotania in 4,000 B.C.E. Before that 
time, there was no written language for us to decode.

Marijuana and the coca plant certainly predate this, as there was the 
extraction process necessary for the user to experience their 
effects.Today, the world drug trade represents seven per cent of all 
the world's trade, equivalent to the entire textile industry.

Everywhere in the world, drugs are an easy meduim to provide ready 
cash for the purchase of arms. This applies not only to gangs, but to 
goverments and rebel groups in some of the more troubled areas of the 
world. Even Mao Tse-Tung used heroin to supply his military 
requirements early in his career.

Plecas, however, seems to suggest that all of this will disappear in 
the Lower Mainland, through the hard work of Hydro and the fire department.

If we are ever to control the gangs and the mayhem caused by the 
young socially inept people drawn to them, we must first control 
drugs. While they are illegal. we have effectively given all control 
to gangsters who ensure there is a dealer outside every school.

Only if drugs are legalized can we control them and cut out the 
gangs. It is currently easier for children to obtain drugs than 
alcohol or tobacco. Use of tobacco, the most lethal of all the drugs 
and a legal substance, has been reduced by two-thirds over the past 
30 years. How was this achieved? By education.

It is interesting to note that Barack Obama in his book about things 
his father taught him, admits to cocaine and marijuana use from high 
school to his last year at university.

The same is true of the previous two U.S presidents, though it was 
not so openly admitted. While I believe that all drugs are harmful, 
this obviously puts a lie to some of our conceptions.

All of our controlled drugs were legal and obtained through 
pharmacies until the 1920s. The pharmacists did not shoot each other 
for market share. Since then the proportion of persons addicted to 
drugs, in that they are unable to live a normal life, has remained 
unchanged, despite billions of dollars spent on enforcement.

Tony Smith, Langley
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