Pubdate: Thu, 17 Mar 2005
Source: Prince George Free Press (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 BC Newspaper Group
Author: Kirk Tousaw
Bookmark: (Canadian Marijuana Party)



Your March 6, 2005 column made the point, correctly, that the
political opportunism displayed in the wake of the tragedy in Alberta
was disgusting. Blaming the BC Marijuana Party and the BC Civil
Liberties Association, both of which were reacting to official
descriptions of the event, is misplaced.

Surely you are aware that the shootings were depicted, within hours
after the deaths were reported (or, as you put it, "when the shots
were still ringing in the air") as the result of a "grow-op raid" by
high-ranked political and police officials - persons who had
significantly greater access to the facts than the BCMP? You could not
have missed the immediate calls for harsh enforcement, mandatory
minimum sentencing and a US-style war on drugs that came from
prohibitionists like Deputy PM Anne McLellan, BC Solicitor General
Rich Coleman and RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli (the only one that had
the decency to back away from his comments when it became abundantly
clear that the shootings had nothing to do with marijuana). Where is
the outrage against these opportunists?

The BCMP press release, which you wrongly decry as opportunism, was a
reaction to these comments. It rightly made the point that (if this
were a "grow-op raid" as every newspaper in Canada proclaimed on the
day following the tragedy) prohibition causes violence; not the mere
act of growing a plant. And it rightly pointed out that increased
enforcement will virtually ensure increased violence (see the United
States as a prime example of this basic reality). The BCMP represents
the political voice of the cannabis community in British Columbia. We
have been wrongly persecuted for generations. We were wrongly attacked
by opportunists seeking to use the tragic killings to further their
prohibitionist agenda. And we were wrongly criticized in your editorial.

Kirk Tousaw, Campaign Manager

British Columbia Marijuana Party
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin