Pubdate: Thu, 03 Jun 2010
Source: Prince George Free Press (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 BC Newspaper Group
Author: Andrew Tejero



Kudos to the RCMP for busting another fine (and large) grow-op in our 
community. The Giscome grow-op that was busted was enormous.

But for every one of these huge grow-ops that gets dismantled, how 
many are actually running smoothly and generating profits for 
organized crime in the province? If crime is an iceberg, we're only 
seeing what's above the waterline. Const. Smith said that many of the 
profits used from pot grow-ops are reinvested into importing harder 
drugs and starting new grow-ops. This feedback cycle quickly exceeds 
the abilities of law enforcement to curb the growth.

The people who run these grow-ops go to jail for a few years, come 
back out with better connections in the crime world after going to 
prison and become more competent criminals. The profits to reap from 
such an operation are tempting to say the least, if someone offered 
you thousands of dollars to grow some plants, all you have to do is 
water them and keep them warm you'd probably be tempted. Money is 
what this all comes down too, why not make it unprofitable for anyone 
to run a grow-op? Why is it so profitable? Because the source of 
marijuana (the supply) is controlled by organized crime who sets the 
street prices for it. Competition drives prices down, and the demand is huge.

It's time to have progressive policies towards drugs. Marijuana today 
is where alcohol was during prohibition, the policies in place are 
ineffective and don't work. There are people out there who still want 
it and people are out there to provide it.

If you're a parent you might think that if marijuana became 
decriminalized it may be more tempting for your child to try it, that 
may very well be, but don't rely on the fact that the classification 
of a substance being controlled as a deterrent for consumption by any 
means. It may make it more difficult to get, but that only has the 
effect of driving the street-price up.

It's just a day at the office for these people who run grow-ops. 
Let's take away their lucrative market. Ask yourself, when was the 
last time you worked for free?

Andrew Tejero

Prince George
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