Pubdate: Fri, 11 Mar 2005
Source: Hamilton Mountain News (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Brabant Newspapers
Author: Chris Goodwin


RE: four RCMP officers that have fallen in the line of

First, prohibition creates the violence and crime. Legalizing
marijuana will end the cycle of violence and crime.

Second, there isn't a single activist I know who hasn't expressed
outrage and sadness at these officers' deaths. But, the attempt to
demonize the marijuana culture by politicizing the actions of a
deranged, dangerous individual is more than pathetic.


It shows complete disregard for the untimely deaths of four human
beings. It also forces the hand of anti-prohibitionists to defend the
cannabis culture from a disparaging and illogical attack.

Furthermore, if Canadians really want to fix the problem, we should
end prohibition.

It is a horrible mistake to use this tragedy as a stepping stone to
increase enforcement and harsher penalties. This is because the
shootings would likely never have occurred if marijuana were able to
be grown legally in an above-ground, regulated market.

Increased penalties and enforcement will virtually guarantee that
Canada has more of these tragic incidents. Look at the United States,
with its drug-war mentality. Police there are regularly shot while
conducting military-style raids in connection with the drug war. We
must be careful not to import that type of violence into Canada.

Finally, official reaction was predictable. Police called for harsher
penalties, telling the federal government to "wake up" and recognize
the connections between grow-operations, violence and organized crime.

Surprisingly, we agree with that basic point, the federal government
does need to recognize that prohibition has created a climate in which
organized crime can use violence to attempt to dominate the
marketplace and to resist police attempts to shut it down.

What our police officers fail to understand is that their proposed
"solution" enacting harsher laws is a proven failure in the US and
will only lead to an escalation in the violence.

Chris Goodwin

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