Pubdate: Wed, 03 Apr 2002
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Victoria News
Author: Matthew M. Elrod


To the editor,

Justifying busting medicinal cannabis provider Ted Smith, sending his 
chronically ill clients back to the street dealers, ("Pot advocate faces 
charges," Mar 28), Victoria police Sgt. Darren Laur explained, "There is a 
strong and reasonable suspicion, based upon reasonable grounds, that some 
of the individuals that we're arresting for trafficking in the downtown 
core have purchased from the (club)."

I am reminded of the explanation a bachelor friend once gave me for rarely 
vacuuming his home.  "Eventually an equilibrium is reached were as much 
dirt gets tracked out as gets tracked in."

I appreciate that the police are simply doing what our ancestors asked them 
to do in 1923, but cannabis was seldom seen in those days.  Now our 
streets, schools and communities are awash in unregulated cannabis and 
compassion clubs are an improvement.

Two studies were released this week on the success of a pilot program in 
Lambeth, England, in which cannabis offenders are given a warning 
only.  One, from the Metropolitan Police, estimates that more than 1,300 
hours of police time were saved during the first six months of the program 
because of the change 

The second is a report of the results of a survey by the Police Foundation 
of Lambeth residents, which shows strong support for the cannabis policing 
scheme (

Until the federal government, or more likely the Supreme Court of Canada, 
strikes down cannabis prohibition,  Victoria City Council should follow 
Vancouver's lead and make cannabis law enforcement their lowest priority.

Matthew M. Elrod
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart