Pubdate: Wed, 30 Jun 2010
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2010 The Western Star


One of the unsettling facts of life is that people often shift quickly
between the feeling they have plenty of time, to the heartbreaking
reality they have too little.

Consider this: A boy was out playing with his neighbourhood friends.
He is about two years older than most of them, sort of like a bigger
brother really.

They are playing with the kind of happiness that only comes in the
first few days of summer break; the time when your body still feels
like it should be in school. Your mind does a mental double take every
20 minutes or so reminding you that summer is really and truly here
and no, you are not supposed to be doing anything else.

They run and play in a small wooded area next to a small municipal
playground. A fresh crop of leaves obscures their play, but given the
proximity, the parents aren't worried.

The story of what happens next is a little disjointed because some of
the events didn't seem entirely related or worthy of note at first.

A girl who could be as young as 16 comes by on a bicycle. A scruffy
looking guy possible in his 30s just appears there, seemingly out of

A green sedan shows up. The girl gets in the car for a minute or two
and then gets out again and leaves on her bike. The boy come out of
the trees.

The scruffy man said to him: "Hey there big guy. You want to buy

That eight-year-old had a long talk about drugs at home that night.
The time to talk to your kids about drugs is now.

Police are not going to keep drugs off the city's playgrounds;
teachers are not going to keep it out of the school and many parents
can't even keep it out of their own homes.

Tuesday morning RCMP Sgt. Boyd Merrill issued one of these
all-too-familiar press releases complete with a couple of pictures of
some rolled-up baggies of pot and some pats on the back for all involved.

It came with the subject line "The war on drugs continues!" Merrill's
exclamation point and use of the word war overstates the point by a
wide margin. It gets worse on the inside.

Merrill says: "Seizures such as this keep our children safe from the
harm that comes from both the use and the economy based on drugs sales
and usage."

If this is truly a war to keep our children safe, the RCMP are on the
wrong battlefield altogether.

The overwhelming majority of these drugs come across the ferry, where
they could easily be seized.

What would happen if the money spent on making these headline-grabbing
busts was spent on patrolling playgrounds instead of leaving children
to where the real battle against drugs is actually played out.

If there is a war on drugs, it is a colossal failure. So-called soft
drugs like marijuana are ubiquitous.

They once were the domain of a clearly defined group of

Now pot is everywhere, and thanks to ruthless salesmanship, its market
share is growing. 
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