HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Users Finance Terrorism, RCMP Says
Pubdate: Wed, 15 May 2002
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2002 Southam Inc.
Author: Jim Bronskill


OTTAWA - Canadian drug users are propping up  foreign terrorists and 
insurgents, the RCMP says.

The hashish, heroin and cocaine consumed in Canada originate in regions of 
the globe where terrorists and rebel organizations are involved "to one 
extreme or another" in the production, processing or movement of narcotics, 
says a new report by the RCMP's criminal intelligence directorate.

Each year hashish and heroin used by Canadians generates as much as 
US$40-million for criminal sources in Asian countries such as Pakistan, 
while cocaine use provides up to US$50-million for South American parties, 
according to the report, Drug Situation in Canada 2001.

"Portions of these proceeds are used to finance terrorist and insurgent 
activity abroad.  Drug consumers are therefore supporting such terrorist 
and insurgent groups."

The statements represent the RCMP's most explicit attempt to date to link 
drug use with politically motivated violence.

The report says drug trafficking is gradually returning to usual levels 
following a dip during the border crackdown after the Sept. 11 terrorist 
attacks on the United States.

In the aftermath of the assaults, the total amount of drugs seized at 
airports and border crossings in both Canada and the United States 
decreased considerably, the RCMP notes. U.S. Customs officials reported a 
greater number of drug seizures, but not in the actual quantity of 
substances seized.  Heightened security at border points simply resulted in 
the discovery of more personal stashes of drugs.

Last year, Canadian police and customs officials seized less cocaine, 
heroin and hashish than in 2000, but somewhat more marijuana, according to 
figures in the report.

Overall, the figures show tighter law-enforcement efforts "can't stop the 
flood of drugs into the country", said Eugene Oscapella, a lawyer and 
founding member of the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, an Ottawa-based 
group that advocates drug-law reform.

Mr. Oscapella rejects the RCMP's argument that Canadian drug users are 
abetting terrorists.  Instead, he points a finger at Canadian laws.

"The  only reason drugs finance terrorism is because of our policies 
prohibiting these drugs," Mr.Oscapeela said. "we are making this drug trade 
so extraordinary profitable for terrorist organizations that we might as 
well be handing them the cash on a silver platter."
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