Pubdate: Fri, 28 Jun 2002
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Chris Donald


Dear Editor,

According to the RCMP 2001 Drug Situation in Canada report, heroin seizures 
in Canada were cut by more than half last year, while busts for marijuana 
grow ops went through the roof, and BC Solicitor General Rich Coleman seems 
to want more of the same for BC's future [Pot production angers SolGen, 
June 14, Langley Advance News].

The RCMP-funded study by the University College of Fraser Valley makes it 
obvious that the police have as much hope of making a dent in the exploding 
home cannabis growing industry as they had of making a dent in home booze 
distilling in the 1920's.

Yet the obvious lesson from history on how to fix the mess created by 
Prohibition is ignored by Solicitor General Coleman.

Fifty-six per cent of BC residents support ending all the illegal grow-ops 
the same way illegal distillers were put out of business seven decades ago: 
by legalization, regulation, and enforceable age restrictions on purchase.

In an ironic twist to this story, after the Solicitor General drastically 
cut the budgets of courts and prisons, he is now reported in your paper 
demanding mandatory-minimum sentences.

That will bury both institutions in a tidal wave of small-time home 
gardeners, not to mention all the new junkies supporting their habits with 
the petty crime that this RCMP shift in resources will create.

Chris Donald

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
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