Pubdate: Sat, 12 Mar 2005
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Times Colonist
Author: Raymond H. Lindsay
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


Re: "We must curb this social plague." March 9.

That gangs or organized criminal elements are often involved in grow 
operations seems clear enough.

To suggest that the Mayerthorpe farm was one of those seems not. If the 
RCMP perceived things differently, they recklessly exposed four young 
officers to more than the threat of a lone cop-hater.

The consequences of using marijuana have never been properly debated. 
Government after government has successfully avoided presenting the 
available social and scientific evidence that might well settle the debate, 
because some of the electorate wants it settled on moral principles and not 
on the facts. To equate marijuana use with the "plague" represented by 
grow-ops is not yet supported by accepted fact.

That said, Canada cannot impose its views, philosophical or legal, on the 
United States. And Canada has an obligation, to say nothing of great 
economic incentives, to close the border to a substance our neighbours do 
not want. There are ways of doing that, while permitting Canada and 
Canadians the freedom to make their own choices.

Canadians sentenced in the United States need not be permitted to serve 
reduced sentences in Canada and such is far from being universally the 
case. Nor are judges to blame for the lack of government leadership in 
dealing with drug cases. If Canadians want something different than we have 
when it comes to drug enforcement, our government will have to so 
legislate. After reasoned debate, and not in the heat of a tragedy.

Raymond H. Lindsay,

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