Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 2004
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 Times Colonist
Author: Ken Dwernychuk


Re: "The raid. What's at stake," Jan. 11.

Reporters at the Times Colonist must be bagged. Timelines, character 
sketches and tonnes of drama all neatly rolled for audience enjoyment. All 
we need now are a few plots to get it all growing.

Unfortunately, the writers of this melodrama seem to have missed the seed 
on a subtle hint provided by RCMP Sgt. John Ward: "The value of the illegal 
marijuana trade alone is estimated to be worth in excess of $6 billion."

Where is all that money coming from? And, who are the characters buying $6 
billion worth of drugs?

The media is constantly reminding us about hard-core druggies and robberies 
and car thefts and break-and-enters, all apparently drug related. But let's 
do some math. How much stolen property would have to be fenced by B.C.'s 
down-and-out in order to come up with that much cash?

B.C. has a population of about four million, nearly 180,000 are unemployed 
and maybe 2,000 of those live on the street. If these are the folks 
responsible for the trade in illegal drugs then each street person must 
come up with about $3 million. Seems unlikely doesn't it?

Well, chances are a lot of that cash comes from some very wealthy people -- 
doctors, lawyers, politicians, business people, schoolteachers, university 
professors, police officers and perhaps the odd judge.

Organized crime pays because there are lots of rich folk willing to make 
sure it pays.

Ken Dwernychuk,

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