Pubdate: Sat, 28 Feb 2009
Source: Delta Optimist (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc
Author: Thomas Falcone



Re: Delta police take aim at gangs, Feb. 18

What exactly does Delta police chief Jim Cessford have in mind when 
he suggests replacing the Canadian legal system with a "justice 
system?" What in particular about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms 
does he think needs to be reassessed? And does he really believe it 
is a bad thing police are "bound to a process?"

The answer to gang violence in B.C. is not chipping away at our 
society's safeguards of liberty. Documents such as the Charter of 
Rights and Freedoms are crucial because they guarantee certain 
liberties that are crucial in protecting us from the authoritative 
tendencies of the state.

It would be tragic if the consequence of gang violence was the 
erosion of our liberty to make way for a police state to cater to our 
collective sensationalized fears of crime. As Benjamin Franklin is 
often (but perhaps not often enough) quoted as saying, "Those who 
would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary 
safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Pumping more money and granting unlimited power to police will not 
solve gang violence. This crisis has its root in a failed policy that 
has wasted billions of public dollars and harmed countless lives: the 
prohibition of drugs.

Gang violence would disappear overnight if drugs were legalized and 
carefully regulated, a position endorsed by the Health Officers 
Council of B.C. How many more dollars and lives must the "War on Drugs" waste?

Let's end the stranglehold the police and prison industries have over 
drug policy in North America and consider a new approach that will 
deal a serious blow to organized crime, stop the persecution of 
thousands and enable those suffering from addictions to get real help.

Thomas Falcone
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