Pubdate: Thu, 10 Mar 2005
Source: Medicine Hat News (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Alberta Newspaper Group, Inc.
Author: Devin Olmstead


I would like to express my condolences to the families and friends of
the four slain officers. Their deaths were premature, tragic and

I have heard many calls from many sources requesting tighter drug
laws. The people who are asking for this do not understand the
consequences of what they are asking. We only have to look south to
see what a dismal failure tight drug laws have been. Drug laws are not
a deterrent as evidenced by the facts use and trafficking being more
prevalent than ever.

There is a clear correlation between tighter drug laws and more
traffic and use. Drug laws do not stop the flow of drugs. They create
a torrent and do nothing but make a bad situation worse. People will
obtain and use drugs regardless of enacted laws. The harsher the
sentence the more risk in trafficking drugs. This means the street
prices go up and traffickers will go to greater lengths to protect
their source of wealth and not get caught. Users will be afraid to
seek treatment for fear of prosecution.

Along with increased cost to the users comes an increase in crimes
perpetrated against the general public to support their unnecessarily
expensive habits. The most violent gangs will only become richer and
stronger. These facts are obvious to many and result in a divide
between the police and the public. In some, this can manifest as a
hatred for the police. The result of this hatred is obvious.

We have nothing to gain by waging our own drug war. Where we can make
gains is in educating the public and our children about the dangers
and effects of drug abuse.

Instead of being adversaries perhaps a better approach would be to
unite in a common goal: make our streets safer and bring back a
friendship and respect for the police that has been at best diminished
and at worst lost.

Canada should work towards freeing addicts from their addictions.
Reducing the supply is not necessary. Short of stupidity or insanity
why stay a clearly detrimental and ineffective course.

Devin Olmstead

Medicine Hat
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