Pubdate: Mon, 15 Feb 2010
Source: Gabriola Sounder (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 The Gabriola Sounder
Author: Kevin Duff


Dear Editor,

I wished to comment on the stories (covered by both the local papers)
regarding the police's recent campaign against marijuana growers.

I want to remind readers and members of our community that there is
another perspective on this issue, and truly, its position bears more
weight than the current "law enforcement" perspective.

In 1972, the "Report of the Le Dain Commission of Inquiry into the
Non-Medical Use of Drugs" was released after being commissioned by the
federal government. It was a most thorough document, covering and
researching almost every imaginable aspect of marijuana use and users
(the complete document can be easily found with a Google search). The
final report recommended that cannabis be removed from the Narcotic
Control Act and that the provinces implement controls on possession
and cultivation, similar to those governing the use of alcohol.
Although the report was widely praised for its thoroughness and
thoughtfulness, its conclusions were largely ignored by the federal

Recent Angus Reid polls (June 07, October 07, and May 08) indicate
that the majority of Canadians (55 percent, 51 percent, and 53 percent
respectively) support legalization, not just decriminalization. (As an
aside, these and many other publicly available statistics, especially
the recent HST situation, give strength to the assertion that we do
not live in a democracy but an oligarchy). Also noteworthy, in this
discussion, is that the roots of cannabis prohibition seem to be
either based on W.R. Hearst and DuPont's attempts at cornering the
rope market, or Harry Anslinger's racist agenda of controlling
"deviant minorities." At the time, 1934, it was Mexicans and

I think that it is very important to note that we are regularly
reported to on the criminal (and violent) activities of various
organized crime groups like the "Red Scorpions", "The UN Gang" and
other outlaw gangs. When the local police forces swoop down and arrest
people (the classic "Ma and Pa" operations) that grow (sometimes even
exclusively) medical marijuana, they force sick people to spend their
money buying product that originates or passes through organized crime
groups' hands. In fact, when the police stop the operation of any
non-organized-crime affiliated grower (which I believe, describes all
the operations that the police interrupted on Gabriola) they
strengthen the market position, and hence the financial muscle of the
proverbial "Bad Guys". Many of the people that I have spoken to lately
have voiced suspicions that the recent police activity against small
marijuana producers is being somehow orchestrated by a specific outlaw

The very sad part of this is that sick and dying people on Gabriola
(and elsewhere) may lose accessibility to the medicine that makes them

On a different note, the recent case of Marc Emery, being arrested in
Canada, for doing business that is legal in Canada-selling cannabis
seeds, (He even paid all his taxes on it, declaring openly what he was
doing to Revenue Canada, and anyone else.) by Canadian police, because
the US government requested it, is a powerful sign that in this
country, we apparently don't have enough sovereignty to write our own
laws for our own citizens.

Often, people make the error of assuming that a statement made to the
press by a government official or the police automatically carries the
weight of truth. I would suggest that the opposite is more likely,
especially when it concerns marijuana. I want to point out that the
assertion of the police that this spate of raids reduces the
availability of drugs to our youth is wrong; what it does do is leave
a small vacuum in the market that becomes occupied quickly by a
supplier that may be affiliated with people we wouldn't want in our

So, let's urge our officials to behave like this is a democracy, and
do what MOST Canadians want: legalize marijuana. The upside to that
would be that the police and the judiciary could now expend their
resources in a much more efficient manner, perhaps interrupting the
flow of drugs that actually do negatively impact our society.


Kevin Duff 
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