Pubdate: Monday 16 November 1998
Source: Vancouver Province (Canada)
Section: Your View
Copyright: The Province, Vancouver 1998
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


Mark Tonner asks: "Are you willing to pay for more police officers?"
and that the "most effective approach" to fighting crime in the
downtown east side is "keeping crooks in jail."

He neglected to ask if we are also willing to pay for more

Over 60 per cent of crime in the downtown east side is drug-related. A
recent study found that every dollar invested in substance abuse
treatment saves taxpayers $7.46 in societal costs, including health
care, crime and violence.

The same study found that additional domestic law enforcement efforts
cost 15 times as much as treatment to achieve the same reduction in
societal costs, for a net loss of 48 cents on the drug-law-enforcement

How does the underfunded Vancouver police department find the manpower
to periodically raid hemp stores? Over 40 officers took part in the
raid on Hemp BC on Sept. 30. No drugs were found. Are you willing to
pay for more hemp store raids or would you rather fund programs that

Matthew M. Elrod,

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Checked-by: Rich O'Grady