HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Charges Dropped In Pot Bust
Pubdate: Thu, 21 Feb 2008
Source: Similkameen Spotlight (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Similkameen Spotlight


BC Conservative Leader, Wilf Hanni, expressed dismay over the ruling
by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bruce yesterday that marijuana
seized in a recent police raid could not be used as evidence in the
case against the defendant.

The police, armed with a search warrant, knocked on the front door.

Receiving no answer, they went to the side entrance where they knocked
it down and entered with guns drawn. Once inside, they found a sizable
marijuana grow-op with 704 plants.

The judge ruled that the police were obligated to knock and announce
themselves repeatedly or until the criminal suspect inside responded.

Because they did not announce themselves again before knocking down
the door, she would not allow the seized marijuana to be used as evidence.

The charges were dropped and the defendant was released.

Hanni said he believes the judge erred in her decision.

He says the police were justified in their actions because raids on
drug houses are extremely dangerous and often lead to gun battles
between police and criminals.

"This is not a case of petty crime or a domestic dispute where the use
of stealth and/or firearms is not required.

The city of Vancouver is being overrun with drugs and organized crime.
We see news reports of people being gunned down regularly now. The
decision by Madam Justice Catherine Bruce is devoid of common sense.

She is, in effect, asking our police to risk their lives in favour of
a drug lord.

Whatever we pay the police, it isn't enough to ask them to risk their
lives for that,' Hanni commented.

"It is about time we stop molly coddling criminals. Letting a drug
lord who profits at the expense of our children off on a technicality
does nothing to preserve due process, and everything to encourage more
criminal behaviour. It's all backwards. We should be tying the hands
of the drug dealers, not our police," concluded Hanni.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek