Pubdate: Sat, 05 Mar 2005
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Times Colonist
Author: Pablo Miramontes


The events in Mayerthorpe are certainly profoundly sad. However, we
should examine the issues carefully before we try to find solutions.

Attorney-General Geoff Plant has asked the federal government to
double sentences for producing marijuana. This would harm nonviolent
marijuana growers but could only increase the incidence of violence,
as armed criminals would have more to lose if they were arrested.

Increasing penalties for grow-ops could also give a boost to gangs, as
personal-use growers shut down for fear of the repercussions and
organized crime, which can afford the risks, takes over.

Plant also stated that far from being your "neighbour making a couple
of bags," marijuana growing today is run by organized crime. If this
is true, it is a result of the illegality of growing marijuana.

During prohibition, alcohol was controlled by organized crime because
it was illegal. To equate alcohol with organized crime would be wrong;
it is prohibition that created the problems associated with alcohol
and the current problems associated with marijuana.

The death of the RCMP officers is tragic. Let's not throw away the
lives of any more on policies based on anger. Let's look for solutions
that work to address the source of the problem.

Pablo Miramontes

- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin