Pubdate: Tue, 18 Jan 2005
Source: Ladysmith-Chemanius Chronicle (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 BC Newspaper Group & New Media
Author: R. Clarke



Chronicle reporter Ted Hill says "police shouldn't have to bear the
brunt of an entirely preventable 80 year political fiasco." (Jan. 4)

The brunt of the "political fiasco" has, is, and will continue to be
borne by those charged with offences. Criminal records are torture
spread out over a lifetime.

Police are important players in perpetuating this persecution. When
they propagandize scientific research about cannabis in their DARE
program (a U.S. business franchise), they destroy their credibility on
all other drugs.

Their zeal in helicopter surveillance has lead to the grow-op boom,
and a new fear to monger - killer molds. Just how these grow-op molds
differ from the leaky condo ones (or the high schools) is not
explained. I'm sure they can come up with a worst case scenario of a
grower using as many pesticides and fertilizers inside the house as
most golf courses or orchards use outside.

When our police chief suggests increased penalties will improve the
situation, what does he mean? Will it scare people away from growing
gold in their basement? Will it reduce the number of grow-ops from
10,000 to 9,000? Or will it encourage people to switch from a
three-month seed to sale pot garden in the basement, to a one or
two-day bathtub meth business?

The policy of brutally treating some people who use some plants has
been a fiasco for many decades, as reporter Hill correctly notes.

Police strategy and tactics in waging this assault on a non-violent
activity that only threatens some people's prejudices have been
spectacularly unsuccessful. Cracking down on "crimes" of consensual
activities only fuels robbery and violence.

It's time the other major players in this calamity, the politicians
and the press, get them back on target. (Thanks, Chronicle, for
allowing debate on this vital issue.) Citizens expect and need
protection from violence and robbery. That's what we want from our taxes.

But the occasional criticism of police methods that occasionally
surfaces in the media is a brunt they should be strong enough to bear.

R. Clarke,

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