Pubdate: Wed, 28 Dec 2011
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Postmedia Network Inc.


What is going on in the Lower Mainland? We're supposed to be enjoying
a season of peace and goodwill to all men.

But instead, we've been hit with a string of tragic and seemingly
pointless homicides.

In four days, four people have died in separate shootings in Surrey
and Langley. A fifth was gunned down Dec. 14 in Vancouver.

The strong suspicion is that at least some of these killings are
related to our region's violent underground drug trade, which
continues to thrive, despite repeated police warnings.

Why do so many Lower Mainlanders become involved in this deadly

Well, the lure of easy money and the "high life" is one reason. The
other is the continuing demand for illegal drugs, especially by
gullible young people looking for a quick fix to whatever ails them.

Gullibility? Yes, perhaps the saddest fatality this Christmas season
was that of 17-year-old Cheryl McCormack of Abbotsford, who died Dec.
22 after taking the drug ecstasy.

She apparently took the synthetic drug with three other teenage girls
who wanted to lose or manage their weight.

But as Abbotsford police spokesman Const. Ian MacDonald has pointed
out, there is no such thing as "quality control" when it comes to
ecstasy or any other illicit drug.

There is no guarantee you're getting what you think you're getting.
You might get a wonderful buzz. You might wind up dead . . . or
poisoned badly.

Some commentators suggest this simply provides ammunition for those
determined to replace the "prohibition" of narcotics with their
legalization and regulation. And that may well be the case.

In the meantime, however, civic officials and concerned citizens alike
must greatly increase public education about drugs . . . and the
misery they can create. 
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