Pubdate: Wed, 27 Sep 2006
Source: Burnaby Now, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Colin Walker


Dear Editor:

Re: Pot laws are federal issue, Letters to the editor, Burnaby NOW, Sept. 20.

Coun. Garth Evans correctly points out that the Controlled Drugs and 
Substances Act, the law that prohibits cannabis, is in fact a federal law.

However, the federal government has been playing games with cannabis 
for more than 30 years since the Le Dain Commission.

The law may be made federally, but the municipalities are the ones 
that have to enforce it.

The three levels of bureaucracy leave an endless maze in which to 
hide or pass the buck around in. The city councillors and MLAs say 
it's federal; the MPs are too afraid to offend the U.S.A., and now 
the courts have struck down and reinstated the CDSA.

Cannabis is not going away, no matter how many 'green teams' Burnaby 
hires. It is a waste of taxpayer money. Cannabis itself was made 
illegal, with no debate, during racist times. So far, 30-plus years 
of trying to change this has been met with the most resistance by the 
police lobby.

The people of Canada and the world deserve to be treated like adults 
when it comes to cannabis. Waging an eternal war against a plant with 
taxpayer dollars accomplishes nothing but wasting money, undermining 
privacy, increasing levels of violence and decreasing respect for 
authority and the rule of law.

Mr. Evans supposes that there are at least 800 cannabis growing 
houses in Burnaby.

The real number is likely far higher.

First, how does he know this? Authorities are now basing their 
suspicions upon your electrical records, the police now spy on the 
citizenry by way of their electrical usage.

One more privacy now a victim of society's misguided quest to ensure 
people are not getting high, the global war on some drugs.

Let us suppose that is true. How many can the police take down in one 
day and how many officers does it require? Even if they could do two 
per day, they could not get them all in a year.

They are simply wasting their time and your money subsidizing the 
ones they can't get by increasing the value.

Instead of allocating scarce resources to chasing their own tail, the 
police must have more pressing problems.

Mr. Evans claims that the people running grow ops are violent and 
dangerous yet cites no example.

If grow houses were so troublesome, why do we not hear about all the 
supposed violence associated with them?

The only time I hear about violence and cannabis grows is either when 
police attend or when 'grow-rippers' break in. Nobody else generally 
interferes with these people.

Ceding the huge unregulated market to criminals by way of drug 
prohibition only ensures the continued presence of organized crime groups.

Mr. Evans believes the solution is to hire more police. The police 
believe that we need harsher penalties, but the people obviously want 
the cannabis.

I believe that the current crackdown on cannabis is happening at 
behest of the U.S.A., and all those on this side of the border who 
support it are not representing the people but protecting the profits 
of large corporations.

Ripping down grow shows is make-work for police. Killing plants is 
not 'protecting the community,' but it sure represents light work and 
job security.

Colin Walker

New Westminster
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