Pubdate: Mon, 24 Nov 2008
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Connie Littlefield


Fourteen have been charged after an undercover drug operation in 
Halifax (Nov. 20 story). "Called Operation Imperative, the police 
response to the drug problem in the targeted zone should help make 
the neighbourhood safer, said Deputy Chief Chris McNeil of Halifax 
Regional Police."

According to my research on this issue, taking drug dealers off the 
street actually makes a neighbourhood LESS safe because now that 
territory is up for grabs. It isn't the drugs that make our streets 
unsafe - it's the guns and the Wild West atmosphere that prohibition entails.

Many officers of all stripes are coming to the realization that the 
"war on drugs" does more harm than the drugs themselves. Frank 
Serpico is one of those cops and I'm going with him to a film 
screening in Amsterdam this week. It's an NFB/imX documentary that I 
wrote and directed, called Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey.

Serpico is a hero to cops everywhere, naturally. His story is on the 
curriculum of police academies the world over.

This event is part of a process the Dutch are going through to 
re-evaluate their drug policy, and I am honoured to have been invited.

Thousands of cops have seen our film, which played on Global TV four 
times last year. I'll make sure Deputy McNeil receives a copy.

Connie Littlefield,

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