Pubdate: Thu, 30 Apr 1998
Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada)
Comment: Parenthetical remarks are the Sun editor's : headline by hawk

LATELY, THERE have been a number of stories in The Sun about cannabis,
particularly cannabis-growing operations and related arrests. Police have
gone on record that Alberta is becoming the "pot capital of the world" with
the most sophisticated growing methods ever, and that the "outlaw bikers"
and organized crime are getting involved. Unfortunately there have been two
things consistently absent from these stories.

Those being truth supported by facts and an unbiased opinion. Sun reporter
Ian McDougall interviewed two policemen - RCMP Cpl. Bob Simmonds and
Edmonton police Staff Sgt. Nick Bok. Sgt.  Bok went on record that he's
"seen reports" that cannabis grown in Alberta is being exported to as far
away as Mexico and the U.S.

Cannabis grown in Alberta is primarily smoked in Alberta. Sgt. Bok also
said that cannabis growing is "a big problem in the city and in the
province." Given the fact that a majority of Canadians want cannabis at
least decriminalized, the problem is the arrests. Sgt. Bok
let a glimmer of truth slip through, saying, "People from all walks of
society" are growing cannabis, but in so doing contradicted his colleague,
RCMP Cpl. Bob Simmonds, who said that it's "outlaw motorcycle groups"
involved in the financing of these operations. Yet there haven't ever been
any stories about bikers getting arrested for growing cannabis. Keep in
mind that if cannabis were legalized both Simmonds and Bok would be out of
a job.

Troy Stewart

(As long as it's illegal, it doesn't sound like anyone will be out of a
job, soon.)

- ------------------------

YOUR RESPONSE to Tylor Snider's thoughtful letter (April 17) pointing out
the absurdities of marijuana prohibition, "It's illegal, that's why,"
reveals in stunning clarity the extent of your ignorance, your bigotry and
your hypocrisy.

I suppose I should congratulate you for exhibiting a marvellous way with
words. There is no more reason to persecute drug users and distributors
today than there was in the past to burn witches at the stake, lynch blacks
or gas Jews.

Alan Randell

(Your blacks and Jews remark is insulting. If marijuana was legal, you'd
have a point.)