Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 1998
Date: March 11, 1998
Source: Halifax Daily News (CAN)
Author: Chris Clay

To the editor:

I am writing in response to a recent article, Drug
Bust Nets 24 (Feb. 27). Apparently Nova Scotia RCMP are pleased with
the recent seizure of $55,000 worth of drugs after a year-long

Though the arrest of 24 alleged drug dealers may sound
impressive, I question the priorities of a police force that spent so
much time and money trying to find such a small amount of drugs. How
much did it cost to mount such a "large investigation" that involved
two different undercover officers over a long period of time? In an
age when most Canadians are afraid to walk the streets at night and
justice resources are stretched thin, don't police have better things
to do?

Digby RCMP Staff Sgt. Wendall Ackerson claimed that the "raids
will make a big difference." However, the busts have done nothing to
reduce demand; other dealers will now step in to supply the
community's desire for illicit drugs.

They will likely tell users there is a temporary shortage because of
the recent round of arrests, and will use that as an excuse to jack
the artificial black-market prices even higher. In the end, drug
users will continue to get their drugs (though at a higher cost) and
drug dealers will make more money. The 24 people charged will go
through the justice system as most of them probably have before, only
to sell drugs once again after the "heat" dies down.

The United States is spending $17 billion this year on their War on 
Drugs, yet they still have one of the highest rates of drug use in 
the world; it's time Canada learned from the mistakes of our southern 
neighbors. Drugs are here to stay, so let's take the profits away 
from the black-market profiteers while treating addicts with the
compassion they won't find inside a jail cell.

Chris Clay
Via the Internet