Pubdate: Sat, 08 Jun 2002
Source: Guelph Mercury (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Guelph Mercury Newspapers Limited
Author: Chris Donald


Dear Editor - Ever since the RCMP declared war on home cannabis growers a 
few years ago, the amount of heroin they have seized has dropped by more 
than half, as their own 2001 Drug Situation in Canada report shows.

According to the statistics from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, in 
1999 one in 35 Grade 8 students in Ontario had tried heroin in the previous 
year, or 2.8 per cent. These are 13- and 14-year-old kids, and the 
equivalent of one student in every class had tried heroin in the previous 
year. The situation was insane then, and since then the RCMP have more than 
halved its efforts against heroin in favour of going after a plant. That is 
one of the worst public policy decisions I have ever heard.

Statistics from Holland's Trimbos Institute for the same year (1999) peg 
their rate for 15- and 16-year-old teens at less than one in 1,000 (less 
than .01 per cent) having tried heroin in their entire lives. I guess Dutch 
police have time to spend going after the criminals who sell junk to kids, 
while our police are more interested in raiding Compassion Clubs that 
provide medicine to the sick, and greedy home gardeners.

Notably, statistics from the CCSA and the Trimbos Institute show that 
approximately twice as many teens use cannabis in Canada as their peers in 
Holland in every age bracket under the age of 18. Looks like their police 
have the resources to keep an eye on that as well, while ours obviously do 
not, despite our per capita spending on law enforcement being significantly 
more than theirs.

You really have to wonder what is going on in the Solicitor General's 
department under MacAuley -- did he really OK a shift of resources by the 
RCMP from heroin to cannabis so large that it resulted in heroin seizures 
dropping by more than half, at a time when polls showed that around half of 
all Canadians want cannabis legalized? Or does the RCMP leave him in the 
dark? Does this have something to do with all the American Drug Enforcement 
Agency offices opening across Canada in the last year? It is time someone 
asked him what is going on in his department.

Chris Donald
Dartmouth, NS
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart