Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 2009
Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Times Colonist
Author: Springfield Harrison


With regard to Les Leyne's column on drug gang violence (Feb. 26), it
is refreshing to finally read such a clear and brilliant explanation
of the actual basis for the problem: "The source of all that profit is
the most uncomfortable point of all. It's us. The criminal gangs are
feeding off mainstream society's insatiable appetite for drugs." It is
sad that so many citizens, journalists, commentators and politicians
earnestly harp on about combating and curtailing gang activity as if
it was the central element in the problem. The gangs are a natural
response to that "insatiable appetite" for drugs that provides the
"unimaginably large sums of drug money sloshing around the province."

The bottom two layers in the drug demand-supply-distribution pyramid
are the drug user and the victims of drug-based crime. Until society
demands that politicians recognize the importance of these two layers
that supply the cash that fuels the other layers, "getting tough on
gang violence" will continue to be a futile endeavour.

Chronic drug use is likely a permanent fixture in society. While we
can try to turn young people and the mentally troubled from drugs, the
real fix lies in starving the gang/distribution layer of their oxygen,
cash, by taking the control and distribution of the currently illicit
drugs out of their hands.

Springfield Harrison

North Saanich
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