Pubdate: Mon, 18 Apr 2005
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2005 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Dave Molloy
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Re: "Alberta goes gangbusters on policing initiatives: Nearly 200 new 
officers will increase rural presence, target organized crime and 
grow-ops," The Journal, April 14.

How Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko figures he's going to dismantle and 
disrupt organized crime in Alberta by targeting grow-ops is beyond me.

Let's look at what has been happening in the cannabis community over the 
past two years or so. Back when the benefits of legalizing cannabis were 
debated openly by open-minded people, one could buy an ounce (30 grams) for 
a little over $100. The quality was going up and the profits going down.

It was not something organized crime needed to prosper. Rumour had it that 
most of the bad guys were on their way out.

Then, right-wing-prohibitionists, with help from the Americans, re-packaged 
their rhetoric of fear. It didn't take long for the same ounce to jump to $175.

Now, an ounce ranges from $200 to $240. There is an expected drop in supply 
while most indoor gardeners are dedicating their green thumbs to nursing 
clones for the upcoming outdoor season.

Insiders suggest when the supply is lowered further through additional 
Green-Team efforts, prices will hit $300, making it profitable again for 
organized crime. Even worse, it will make it more profitable to import 
Middle-Eastern hashish into Alberta.

So why would the solicitor general want to put the profit motive back into 
cannabis gardening? How does he expect to reduce organized crime by 
lowering supply and increasing prices?

Most reasonable people suggest these tactics will attract organized crime 
into Alberta, not discourage it!

Dave Molloy

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