Pubdate: Wed, 22 Mar 2017
Source: Powell River Peak (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Peak Publishing Ltd.


While news spread this week of Powell River RCMP taking down what it
considered to be the beginnings of a "dial-a-dope" operation, a lot of
questions were raised.

The initial question being: what exactly is a "dial-a-dope" operation?
Turns out it is a way of using disposable cell phones, or "burner
phones," to keep police off the trail of drug suppliers. Look how well
that went after someone phoned in an anonymous tip about the upstart

Now that we all know what "dial-a-dope" means, the larger question at
hand after this latest drug bust is regarding the level to which drug
dealing is an issue in Powell River.

Many would argue that despite its remote location and disconnect from
the Lower Mainland, drugs are just as plentiful here as they would be
in neighbouring, yet more connected, communities such as Sechelt,
Gibsons and the Comox Valley. Others suggest it is because of its
remoteness that Powell River is a city ripe for drug activity.

Let's be honest, drugs have been available in Powell River as far back
as many of us can remember. Maybe not drugs with the extreme
lethalness of fentanyl, but other addictive drugs such as heroin and
cocaine are well established in this community.

Perhaps the argument should not be about how plentiful the drug supply
is here compared to other places, or where it is coming from, but what
we can do to make sure that drug use is monitored in a way that
actually helps those who are affected by it.

Arresting people for possession and trafficking of drugs does very
little to solve the problem of drug addiction.

Powell River should start by banding together as a community to devote
more money and time to encourage, promote, educate and administer
health care programming for cleaner living.

Those who do choose to use hard drugs need to be supported with needle
exchanges, safe-injection sites, anti-overdose kits and other
harm-reduction education until such a time that they can seek a way to
receive more help.

The sooner we admit that drugs are here, and have been for a long
time, the sooner we can find proactive ways to fight addiction.

Sure, arrest the drug dealers for breaking the law, but stop there and
the problem will never, ever go away.
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