Pubdate: Thu, 22 Apr 2010
Source: Mission City Record (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 The Mission City Record
Author: Steve Finlay


Editor, The Record;

This is a small thing to be thankful for, but our Canadian police 
forces do have the wisdom to take the military weapons off tactical 
armoured vehicles (TAV) before using them in police work.

This is not true in the USA, where even some small town sheriffs 
boast armoured vehicles topped with Browning M-2 machine guns. That 
is exactly the same weapon that blasted German and Japanese fighters 
out of the sky in World War II. It is as useful in a police operation 
as a chain saw would be in a watch repair shop.

Nevertheless, using military equipment for police work is dangerous, 
destructive and wrong. Once it starts, where will it stop?

How soon will a police department somewhere try to keep the military 
arms attached to a TAV?

I'll bet on two years, maximum.

Any takers?

Police militarization is usually justified by claiming, as Jason 
Raaflaub did, that it makes police work safer. If that is true, then 
the Mexican police must be the safest in the world. After all, they 
work with not only military equipment, but also the army itself.

I invite Constable Raaflaub to join the police force in Ciudad Juarez 
for a short time; then he will see how much safer a fully militarized 
police force is.

For the sake of his friends and family, however, he should make sure 
that it is indeed a short time.

But the main point is this: If investigating a cannabis farm is 
dangerous for our police, we cannot blame someone who gives them or 
does not give them a TAV. The simple and only reason why some 
cannabis farms are dangerous is because they are illegal.

No one needs a TAV to inspect a brewery or a chicken grow-op! Beer 
and poultry are legal, and so the brewers and growers cooperate with 
the law so that they don't lose permission to operate.

If cannabis farms were legal, the farmers would behave the same way.

Therefore, the only people to blame for the dangers of so-called 
"marijuana grow ops" are ourselves, the voters. Cannabis prohibition 
is the only thing that makes these farms dangerous for police, and we 
are the ones who continue to elect politicians who leave this 
prohibition in place.

It is our failure to change that puts Jason Raaflaub and his fellow 
officers in danger.

Steve Finlay,

volunteer, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Burnaby
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