Pubdate: Sat, 11 Jul 2009
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Page: Front Page
Copyright: 2009 The Western Star
Author: Barb Sweet
Bookmark: (Treatment)


ST. JOHN'S - The weed supply is waning.

"Marijuana ( has been in short supply) four or five times in the last 
year," said Ron Fitzpatrick of Turnings, a community organization 
that helps drug addicts turn their lives around.

Fitzpatrick said the paucity of pot is due in part to a police 
crackdown on drugs - several recent highyielding drug busts have 
included a lot of marijuana.

He said young police recruits are hip and smart and the drug force is 
" fantastic."

"Police, especially the RNC, are getting ... good at cracking down on 
the drugs, nailing drug dealers, finding stashes and grow-ops," 
Fitzpatrick said.

" They are doing great work. They're doing more busts and drying up 
the streets."

Another reason for the shortage is that weed is a popular, more 
socially acceptable drug.

" You can almost count on one hand the number of people who don't 
smoke marijuana. It's supply and demand. There's more demand than 
(the dealers) can handle," Fitzpatrick said.

But because marijuana is harder to find, people may be trying harder 
drugs like cocaine, ecstasy or even putting PCP (angel dust) on 
cigarettes, he said.

"Angel dust will make you high as kite and keep you up four or five 
hours," Fitzpatrick said.

He said someone might offer a disappointed marijuana user a couple of 
lines of coke in consolation.

" That's how it starts. Next thing you say, ' Who needs weed? This is great,'"

Fitzpatrick said.

He said people should be wary of cheap coke - rumoured to be around 
$60 per gram.

" That will almost tell you it's not good - it's coke mixed with God 
knows what," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick contends that society should be proactive by spending 
more money on treatment.

He said experts around the world are saying what he's been saying for 
three years - that drug addiction must be treated as an illness.

Currently, people are waiting months to get into treatment programs, 
he said, and there should be more funding for groups like Turnings, 
that can help.

" Wouldn't it be better to help somebody like that?" he said.
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