Pubdate: Tue, 15 Sep 2009
Source: Chilliwack Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Chilliwack Times
Author: Rod Nelmes



I didn't know whether to laugh or get angry when I read that the RCMP 
busted its largest ever grow-op in Chilliwack's history.

It is both laughable and frustrating that scarce police resources are 
wasted chasing after a plant that most Canadians, and an even higher 
percentage of British Columbians, believe should be legalized.

Marijuana is clearly less addictive than cigarettes and does not come 
anywhere close to causing the social problems that alcohol does. 
Indeed, the social problems that are caused by marijuana stem largely 
from the fact that it is prohibited. We all remember watching Popeye 
when we were young, and without the green stuff (his spinach) he had 
no power. In much the same way, organized crime in this province 
would be rendered impotent without its green stuff (marijuana) and 
would not have the power to strong arm anyone. Put another way, 
marijuana is organized crime's cash cow.

Having said that, it is also one of the main engines of the British 
Columbian economy. You could say Alberta has its oil and B.C. has its bud.

If marijuana was legalized this province could tax it and we would be 
closer to surplus; you could control the THC levels much like alcohol 
levels are controlled now, and you wouldn't have to worry about it 
being spiked with meth or some other dangerous drug.

It never ceases to amaze me how politicians in one country don't look 
at the failures of policies in other countries and do the opposite. 
Clearly, the drug wars in both the United States and Mexico have been 
colossal failures. In fact, in the last few years, Mexico stepped up 
its drug war, only to see rampant corruption and utter mayhem 
escalate as a result. Currently, in Canada, the lion's share of 
resources are spent on drug enforcement, which flies in the face of 
kindergarten economics 101, that states as long as you have a demand 
you will have a supply. It seems logical to me and many Canadians 
that the federal government should go after the demand end and spend 
most of our drug resources on education, prevention and the 
rehabilitation of those hooked on hard drugs.

On Saturday morning, as I was reading about the Nixon Road pot bust, 
my cat began chasing his own tail and I chuckled, but I also realized 
that my cat was not smart enough to recognize the futility of his own 
actions; one wonders if the RCMP recognizes the futility of their 
accomplishment up on Nixon Road.

Rod Nelmes

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