Pubdate: Mon, 18 May 2009
Source: Gulf News, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2009 Transcontinental Media Network
Bookmark: (Opinion)
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Canada)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


It's not hard to tell that we've become numbed to the occurrence of
drug busts. Our eyes glaze over when we see police officers on the
nightly news displaying tables filled with illicit drugs and bundles
of cash, all packaged neatly in plastic bags with identification labels.

These scenes usually happen in the large cities where drugs and crime
have been dance partners for a long time. We don't know the kingpins
who are about to be subjected to long, drawn-out trials, nor do we
care that they are out thousands, sometimes millions of dollars

If a similar drug bust was to take place close to home, it would be
completely different. It stands to reason that people in this area
would likely sit up and take notice. They would be curious about the
origins of the drugs and want to know who was facing charges.

Sadly, that's not the case. We've even become desensitized to the drug
busts that take place in our communities.

Look no further than the arrests made earlier this month by the RCMP.
Individuals in Hawkes Bay, Port Saunders and St. Paul's were arrested.
The amount of drugs that was seized was staggering, even when you
compare it to the hauls which the authorities have made in other
places where the drug trade is much more robust.

As it was, even police acknowledged they were surprised by the fact
that 15,000 ecstasy pills were scooped up, along with cocaine and marijuana.

The arrests and seizure caused a stir for a few days. It made
headlines in the daily papers and the electronic media was all over
the story. But that's as far it went. It's old news now.

The seizure raises several questions - some of the answers are
obvious, others aren't so readily available. Were the ecstasy pills
destined for other places, or were they going into the hands of
customers on the peninsula? Is this the largest shipment of its kind
to the region, or is this the way things have been for some time? Who
provides a market for such a drug? Young people? Older adults?

For some time now, the RCMP has been raising alarm bells about the
drug trade in the province. Staff Sgt. George Noseworthy has been
using every opportunity to tell area residents that dealing with the
drug problem isn't a simple matter of apprehending the traffickers. He
says people are well aware of what's happening, yet most prefer to
turn away and not acknowledge the problem. They hope the problem
doesn't come to their doorstep, but it does.

There's more to this than people choosing a method of getting high.
Such a proliferation of drug use has to be taking its toll on families
and damaging the lives of young people. How much of an effect is this
having on other crimes that are happening with more frequency?

It's obvious that the people who are providing a market for a drug
such as ecstasy and cocaine are willing to take chances with something
that causes irreparable harm and even kills, as evidenced by the young
girl who lost her life in Alberta.

Is there a way to deal with what appears to be a growing problem? Is
it a weed that continues to grow and flourish even when it's cut? Or
can individuals, communities, public health and other community
leaders devise a strategy that attacks the root of the problem?

Sitting back and doing nothing isn't an option. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake