Pubdate: Fri, 03 Dec 2010
Source: Prince George Free Press (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 BC Newspaper Group
Author: Alan Randell



Re: Police have been busy, Free Press, Nov. 24.

In common with most of our media, you rarely present an even-handed,
informative account of various drug busts that includes the pros and
cons of our drug prohibition laws, laws that have clearly failed to
put even the smallest dent in the illegal drug trade. You opt instead
for pushing the government and police line all the way.

Your corporate owners will be pleased indeed at your continued support
of the police as they enthusiastically utilize our shameful drug laws
to persecute the minority that uses some harmful drugs while leaving
alone the majority that uses other harmful drugs.

Selling fear to the public has always been a mainstay of the media
(and the police, for that matter). Taking a "tough on crime" stance,
particularly in a climate of perpetual fear created by the "war on
drugs" and the "war on terrorism," is always a politically safe
posture. "Criminals" have no lobbying groups, there is no political
price to pay for attacking such an easy scapegoat. By focusing on
crime, attention is effectively directed away from more divisive
issues on which a politician might well have to take a stand that
would cost them votes. Meanwhile, induced by the media, a fearful
populace continues to surrender their civil rights and constitutional
protections at an alarming rate, so that their government may protect
them from the rampant criminality of the masses.

Alan Randell

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