Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jan 2010
Source: Airdrie Echo (CN AB)
Copyright: 2010 Osprey Media
Author: Josh Skapin - Echo Editor
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Just as many of you sit down and open this week's edition of the 
Airdrie Echo, the contents of our publication will already be causing 
a cyber ripple nationwide.

In our news section this week, we have coverage of the major 
marijuana bust made in our community last week.

Police estimate the street value of the weed collected to top the $1 
million mark.

Countless defenders of the green stuff have words like marijuana and 
pot built into a Google alert, which sends an e-mail to their inbox 
when either word is used in the contents of an article.

This is done with the intention of providing an opportunity to either 
throw their support in favour of a pro-pot piece or come to the 
defence of Mary Jane when an article is written about incidents such 
as the grow operation arrest last week.

The passion and persistence of this group goes without contest - at 
least in terms of noise in our letters to the editor inbox.

Believe in their smoke-blowing message or not, it's free speech and 
if marijuana users are looking to make a dent in terms of 
legalization, this could be an effective road.

That said, it was hard not to be taken aback when reading one of the 
letters sent to us last week ( see page 9).

When reading the subject matter, 'DARE,' in our inbox, the first 
assumption was that it would be from a parent or teacher discussing 
the importance of the program.

In last week's edition of the Echo, we published an article about how 
after almost two decades away from Airdrie schools - the initiative 
meant to provide youth an awareness about the negative effects of 
alcohol, cigarette and drug use has returned courtesy Airdrie's 
school resource officers.

The letter, of course, came from a drug reform analyst and consultant.

"As a federally licensed medical marijuana user who is also married 
to one, I consider DARE nothing less than a government-sponsored 
hate-crime," the e-mailer wrote.

Comparing fact-based awareness with hopes of preventing substance 
abuse among Airdrie youth is not unlike a racial slur or swastika 
spray-painted on the side of a building (an actual hate crime) - now 
I've heard everything.

Const. Rob Frizzell's work in Airdrie schools helping students 
understand the importance of certain decisions, particularly ones 
that lead to the abuse of drugs and alcohol is commendable and it 
would be ridiculous to confuse his worth with anything but a benefit 
to our community.
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