Pubdate: Sat, 05 Mar 2005
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Mike Lazaruk
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


In the wake of the tragic slaying offour RCMP officers near Mayerthorpe, it 
seems all too easy and obvious to call for Parliament to toughen the 
criminal sanctions for marijuana grow operators, such as the one 
responsible for this horrific act.

However, harsher penalties will not make the problem go away. In fact, 
lengthier sentences may encourage other drug producers to heavily arm 
themselves. A knee-jerk reaction is never as effective as a 
well-thought-out solution.

My grandfather was an RCMP detective, and he would have wished for the 
safety of his fellow officers before any extended sentences for drug 
suppliers. Our peace officers across the country need and deserve the 
maximum protection possible, regardless of concerns for budgetary constraints.

Before we call on Ottawa to pass a reactionary amendment to the Criminal 
Code, let's take stock of what really happened. Take the focus away from 
the drugs and the car chop shop, and recognize that these were the actions 
of a deranged man, who by his father's own admission had a sick fixation 
with guns, and a hatred for the police.

Do not forsake the memories of these young officers by demanding a 
quick-fix law that will have little, if any, impact on the drug landscape 
in this country.

Let us honour these fallen heroes by ensuring that the law enforcement 
community in Canada has the protection and the resources it needs to 
operate safely and effectively, because above all else we must ensure we 
don't suffer another loss like the one near Mayerthorpe.

Mike Lazaruk

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