Pubdate: Tue, 15 Mar 2005
Source: Red Deer Advocate (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 Red Deer Advocate
Author: Don Shunt
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Re. the recent Canadian Press article, headlined Top cop apologizes for 
misleading claims in cop killer case:

I was surprised to see an apparently reputable and well-run news agency 
react to the recent RCMP slayings with such uninformed and inaccurate 

The article was not based on the facts or circumstances of the crime at 
all. It also failed to differentiate between legal medical cannabis grows 
and black market grows.

It places the whole cannabis community in a bad light when this type of 
article fails to recognize that many thousands of Canadians rely on 
cannabis for medical problems.

Many Canadians are literally forced to grow their own supply of meds 
because they have been refused access by Health Canada.

Unfortunately, the medical user with a few plants in her/his closet for 
medical reasons is lumped in with million-dollar grow-ops. It is time to 
differentiate between grow-ops and closet grows!

The way to defeat commercial grow-ops is not through prohibition, which has 
never worked for drugs or alcohol, but rather through legalization and 

This would almost immediately crash the cannabis prices and effectively 
render commercial grow-ops a money-losing proposition, with a big risk for 
a small gain.

Not only that, it would free up all the resources being wasted on cannabis 
prohibition to be used to battle meaningful and important problems, such as 
meth labs, chop shops and child pornography.

The property owned by James Roszko did not house a grow-op. The 20 
marijuana plants he had were discovered by police there to investigate 
other matters.

This case is all about a cop-hating, deranged lunatic who - because of the 
inadequacies of our judicial system - was left at large to murder those he 
hated most.

RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli has apologized for blaming the 
Mounties' deaths on pot.

"Within hours of the deaths, RCMP spokespeople told the press that they had 
found 300 plants worth $400,000 during a marijuana raid that involved Green 
Team Members," according to The Canadian Press. "It later was revealed that 
the investigation was for auto-part theft rather than pot, that the Green 
Team hadn't been in attendance (rather it was rookies from the auto-theft 
unit), and that the killer was a well-known psychotic gun nut with a 
history of violent outbursts and weapons offences, not an organized drug 

Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan refused to reply to Zaccardelli's 
recent comments.

Almost immediately after the shooting, McLellan called for a tough 
anti-growing bill to be rammed through Parliament at the earliest possibility.

She has admitted, however, that she was shaken by the police deaths that 
occurred in her home province, verging on a confession that she may have 

Even Conservative MP Randy White, known for his outrageous anti-pot 
sentiment and calls for harsher sentences for pot lovers, criticized 
McLellan for capitalizing on police deaths in her call for tougher laws, 
when he admitted that pot was likely not to blame for the four officers' 

"The first thing that happened was that everybody acted based on a lack of 
information," White told the press.

All in all, politicians seem to agree that the government will eventually 
react to the tragedy, but that marijuana was not a factor.

Whether the abrupt about-face will be enough to stop legislative or budget 
changes that would increasingly target grow-ops has yet to be seen.

Don Shunt

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