Pubdate: Thu, 28 Feb 2008
Source: Chatham Daily News, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 OSPREY Media Group Inc.
Author: Dexter Dafoe


Sir: Having read the editorial, "Drug dealer belongs in jail," in The
Kingston Whig-Standard Feb. 23, originally published in your paper, I would
like to make a comment. The reality of the unregulated drug trade is that it
is not driven by advertising. There are no television, newspaper, billboards
or other media convincing people they need to use unregulated drugs to get a

Like those who used to do backroom abortions and like those who supply
illegal firearms, drug dealer are just filling a niche left vacant by
the regulated market place.

This is not to imply that we should have or should be rushing to fill
these various niches by some regulated service, but it does give pause
to make you think that it might have been and might be not a bad idea.
Again, it depends as a society what we deem to be acceptable or
unacceptable behavior.

What we need to realize is that if it is an unacceptable behavior, we
need to bring the full force of the law to the doorstep of those who
are driving the marketplace. These are not the people providing the
service, but those demanding it.

Trafficking in drugs used to land you a jail term of seven years, and
although it eliminated a particular trafficker for a while, it did
nothing to reduce the demand, so someone else filled the niche. The
reality of blaming the service provider, unless he is activity hooking
others on drugs, won't cut it. You need to nail the users and nail
them hard. They are the ones creating the demand. They are the ones
driving the marketplace.

The alternative is to provide an inexpensive regulated supply of the
goods in demand to undermine the unregulated market. A case in point
is the Toronto gun problem. The former administration, in an effort to
be seen doing something about firearm violence, overreacted and
over-regulated the legitimate trade in firearms. Doing so spawned a
thriving black market. That was one of its initial failures.

Then came the incident at Dawson College, which really illustrated
what an abysmal failure their efforts proved to be. That incident like
the prior one which inspired the new gun regulations, demonstrated how
madness will stop at nothing to achieve its end. The shooter at Dawson
College followed the rule of law to the letter to obtain his firearms.

Until you deal with what drives their madness and the madmen and in
this situation the reasons for getting high and the addicts, you are
merely whistling in the wind.

Dexter Dafoe,

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