Pubdate: Fri, 27 Jun 2003
Source: Parksville Qualicum Beach News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Author: David Faren


Social Acceptability of Pot Is Higher Than Oceanside RCMP Estimate

I was saddened to see that, once again, the RCMP were gloating over
yet another waste of taxpayer money. I was also delighted to see that
you chose to interview Mark Russell on the matter of this most recent
marijuana seizure. Unfortunately, however, Russell was only asked to
estimate the so-called "street" value of the crop.

Opinion on the value of these police actions was left in the hands of
the police only. Where are the dissenting public opinions that most
certainly exist? Instead, the RCMP speculated on the collective
opinion of the public without any basis whatsoever and this was
printed. Does being a police officer grant the person with special
psychic powers that permits a reliable estimate of the public's
opinion? Indeed, is this special power so reliable that no dissenting
opinion need be consulted or printed?

In the event that The News found it difficult to find anyone in
Oceanside area who holds an alternate view, I offer one for your
publication. What I offer, however, is not mere speculation on what
the general public thinks, but well-informed analysis of the current
tragic waste of tax dollars and police resources.

I ask you, the editor, and your readers to begin by considering the
size of the crop destroyed. Does this not indicate something
contradictory in the Rob Diack's statements? If "public acceptance
isn't as widespread as many believe," who was going to smoke all this
cannabis? Is Diack trying to suggest these ambitious cultivators had
no market for the plant? Diack's assertions are without basis.

Consider further, good reader, the fact that new legislation is being
seriously considered concerning this millennia-old indulgence and
medicine, cannabis. Should this come to pass, anyone with less than 15
grams will be issued a ticket that results in no criminal record, just
a fine.

While I do not agree with the current legislation or this newly
proposed act, I believe the new act speaks again to the size of the
population in this country, including the citizens of Parksville, that
do use cannabis. Among the stated reasons for this move is the freeing
up of police and court resources due to the large numbers of people
continually being negatively affected by the prohibition on cannabis.
Surely Diack must concede he is out of touch with the majority view in
this or any other Canadian city.

David Faren
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