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1 CN BC: Abbotsford Murder Victims Have Gang TiesSat, 04 Apr 2009
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:04/08/2009

Police have identified the two young men found dead within 24 hours of one another in different Abbotsford locations.

Ryan Alexander Richards, 19, of Abbotsford, was found sprawled in a grassy field behind the Yellow Barn - a produce store on the Abbotsford/Chilliwack border south of Highway 1 - at daybreak on Tuesday morning.

Investigators say Richards was the victim of foul play, but have yet to say how he died.

The second victim, Sean Patrick Murphy, aged 21 from Mission, was found Monday evening, dead from gunshot wounds. He was behind the wheel of a beige Toyota Camry on Bateman Road. Both young men were known to police.

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2 CN BC: Column: Gangs, Drugs -- We'll Get Through TheseFri, 03 Apr 2009
Source:Coquitlam Now, The (CN BC) Author:Kim, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:86 Added:04/08/2009

The news for the past few months has been grim, with our communities being held hostage by urban thugs and the impression that our justice system is incapable of handling this crime wave.

I want to share with you an e-mail sent to me by a colleague, which I thought would be appropriate for these distressing times:

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

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3 CN BC: Student Tipsters Shut Down Crack ShackFri, 03 Apr 2009
Source:Surrey Leader (CN BC) Author:Ferguson, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:74 Added:04/08/2009

The weather-beaten one-storey house with the faded blue siding and security cameras was located near two Surrey schools - a few blocks from Sullivan Heights Secondary and right beside Cambridge Elementary.

Some students were suspicious.

In early March, they told school authorities, who alerted the school liaison officer, who called in the drug squad.

During their very first day of surveillance, drug squad officers could see the windows and door of the ramshackle house at 14953 60 Ave. had been reinforced.

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4 CN MB: OPED: Canada's Forgotten War on DrugsMon, 06 Apr 2009
Source:Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB) Author:Ford, Tom Area:Manitoba Lines:101 Added:04/08/2009

YUCATAN, Mexico -- The Canadian guy at the swim-up bar seemed ready to fall off his stool and float away.

In an effort to help him focus, I asked him about Canada's involvement in Mexico's brutal drug war.

"What involvement?" he said.

And that's the problem. A lot of Canadians don't know about our stake in Mexico's war against drug lords, which now has a higher death rate than the war in Iraq.

The war's statistics are staggering: More than 7,000 people killed this year and last; 50,000 Mexican troops and federal police battling five big drug cartels armed with rocket-launchers, machine guns, grenades and armour-piercing sniper rifles over a drug trade valued at $50 billion a year.

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5 US WA: Column: Finally, a Little Honesty About America's IneptMon, 06 Apr 2009
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Sirota, David Area:Washington Lines:93 Added:04/08/2009

Finally, a little honesty.

Finally, after America has frittered away billions of taxpayer dollars arming Latin American death squads, airdropping toxic herbicide on equatorial farmland, and incarcerating more of its own citizens on nonviolent drug charges than any other industrialized nation, two political leaders last week tried to begin taming the most wildly out of control beast in the government zoo: federal narcotics policy.

It started with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stating an embarrassingly obvious truth that politicians hardly ever discuss. In a speech about rising violence in Mexico, she said, "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," and then added that "we have co-responsibility" for the cartel-driven carnage plaguing our southern border.

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6 US FL: Editorial Early Intervention Works For Mentally IllMon, 06 Apr 2009
Source:Miami Herald (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:76 Added:04/08/2009

They Belong in Treatment Facilities, Not in Jails and Prisons

You see them all the time: People who aimlessly wander the streets, obviously homeless and obviously in need of attention for their mental illnesses. Ever wonder what happens to them? Far too many end up in jail or prison, at great and unnecessary expense to taxpayers.

To keep just 1,700 of these people locked up, as Florida currently does, costs $250 million each year. When they are released from prison, as inevitably all of them are, their mental-health conditions have worsened.

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7 CN ON: PUB LTE: Mass Arrests Won't Solve Gang ProblemTue, 07 Apr 2009
Source:Toronto Star (CN ON) Author:Dubro, James Area:Ontario Lines:48 Added:04/08/2009

Re: War on gangs is 'working,' Letter April 4

Police chief William Blair is right that this and other mass arrest operations are helpful. But they cannot have any permanent effect on drug trafficking as other gangs and criminals quickly fill any void and those charged frequently are out on the street before you can blink.

It is also commendable that Toronto police since 2004 have been charging many of those arrested with being members of an organized crime entity. But often those charges, which should result in a much longer prison sentence, are dropped in plea bargains over the years it takes to comekto trial.

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8US MN: OPED: Law Enforcement Groups Are Wrong About MedicalFri, 03 Apr 2009
Source:St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) Author:Murphy, Steve Area:Minnesota Lines:Excerpt Added:04/08/2009

As chief authors of the bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill moving through the Legislature, we felt compelled to respond to Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom's misleading column regarding our bill ("Law enforcement groups oppose it, and here's why," March 20).

It was extremely disappointing to note that Backstrom began his column by asserting that he and the groups he represents will never agree to sit down with us to negotiate a bill that meets their concerns. This is unfortunate, because in other states, law enforcement has been supportive of the legalization of medical marijuana. They got involved in the process early on and worked with lawmakers to craft a system that would be workable. Because of their involvement, other states' medical marijuana systems have been successful.

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9 CN ON: OPED: Time to Legalize MarijuanaTue, 07 Apr 2009
Source:Banner, The (CN ON) Author:Strang, Rob Area:Ontario Lines:71 Added:04/08/2009

I was in the liquor store the other day buying some coffee liqueur. Although I normally go for the big name brand, I thought I would try for the 100- mile diet. Sure enough, I could save 25 per cent off the price and stimulate the local economy by purchasing a product made in Grimsby, not 80 miles away.

It was six per cent higher in alcohol to boot. Checking this fact reminded me of my student days in university when our house had an all-night Godzilla film festival. I was in charge of the refreshments and had strict orders to get the most alcohol for the buck.

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10 US CA: Edu: Community Divided on Marijuana IssueWed, 08 Apr 2009
Source:Orion, The (California State Chico, CA Edu) Author:North, Mike Area:California Lines:197 Added:04/08/2009

Pot For Sale?

A recent proposal out of San Francisco to legalize and tax the sale of marijuana has raised questions about the future of the substance in California.

Marijuana has come back into the spotlight recently with San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's Feb. 23 proposal to legalize the sale of marijuana, because the tax from the sales could help balance the state budget, he said.

If passed, this proposal would make marijuana available to adults 21 and older for any type of use, not just medical, according to Ammiano's Assembly Bill 390.

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