HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Pot Prohibition Works For Cops And Crooks Alike
Pubdate: Sat, 28 Aug 2004
Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004, BC Newspaper Group
Author: Chris Foulds, The Abbotsford News
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


The solicitor general in Victoria and the RCMP commissioner in Ottawa remain
stuck in a fantasy world where 'getting tough' on marijuana growers will
eventually eradicate B.C.'s number one industry.

Abbotsford has jumped on the failed war on drugs bandwagon whole-hog,
forwarding a resolution to the annual Union of B.C.

Municipalities convention that will do absolutely nothing to put a dent in
the number of pot growing operations in the city.

Coupled with this useless resolution - one that calls for stiffer sentences
for those growing and selling weed - comes the argument from Abbotsford
Mayor Mary Reeves that boggles the mind for the fact it makes no sense

Reeves says she is not in favour of decriminaliztion or legalization of
marijuana or any other drug.

"At the end of the day, this is all about organized crime," Reeves said.

"You can decriminalize until the cows come home, but it's an epidemic."

Actually, if you decriminalize - or better yet, legalize - marijuana, you
immediately cut out organized crime from that crop, a crop from which
criminals have been profiting since pot was first banned in the 1923 Opium
and Drug Act.

On the other hand, a certain way to ensure organized crime remains in
business is to follow the futility espoused by Reeves, Solicitor General
Rich Coleman and RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, which is to emulate
the long-failed U.S. war-on-drugs approach and continue to foolishly apply
it to the benign plant.

It's simple supply and demand. Regardless of the law, demand will remain
strong, just as it has for the past century. Cut into the supply via
millions wasted on more cops busting more grow-ops and more court dates and
more drug users going behind bars, and the gig gets more and more lucrative.

Every so often police brass will hold press conferences - as they did this
week in Vancouver with the not-so-new news that, surprise, Hells Angels and
other organized crime groups are involved in grow-ops - claiming there is a
crisis and demanding tougher legislation and longer jail sentences for those
caught growing pot.

Apparently, it escapes these prohibitionist dinosaurs that the very laws in
place, the laws they are calling for to be strengthened, are the very reason
the pockets of the Hells Angels and others are bulging.

It is utterly astounding that B.C. has a solicitor general who does not know
his history, who is apparently ignorant of the lessons learned during
alcohol prohibition of last century, who mindlessly mouths the widely
ridiculed war-on-drugs mantra that has been such a flop in the U.S.

Could it be this incomprehensible, backwards approach that is behind the
staggering increase in police department budgets year after year? It just
might be, because it certainly cannot be attributed to a rise in crime.

Granted, Reeves, Coleman and others of that generation are plagued by the
misinformation doled out in their day; alleged "facts" that today are seen
by rationale folk as the folly that are - more of the Reefer Madness

What Reeves, Coleman and other deluded prohibitionists need to do is read a
copy of the 1972 Le Dain Commission Report, the 2002 Senate Special
Committee on Illegal Drugs Report and various other studies that have
consistently called for the legal regulation of the so-called evil weed.

Of course, the absurdity of this entire farce is that it creates strange
bedfellows; for it cannot be argued that prohibition is the preferred choice
of criminals and cops alike. Why society cannot see this remains a mystery. 
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