Fanatics With a Badge

Fanatics With a Badge
Posted by CN Staff on March 04, 2004 at 09:10:26 PT
Source: Ottawa Citizen 
The philosopher George Santayana famously defined fanaticism as "redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim." It's a fitting description of a conference held this week at which officials and police discussed the next battle in the endless war on marijuana. Co-hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and the Ontario sociation of Chiefs of Police, the conference specifically targeted marijuana "grow-ops," a lucrative business the police say is booming and making gangsters rich. Imagine for a moment that all the scary stories about grow-ops are true (we have our doubts about some of the more alarmist claims). How should we respond?
The police say there has to be a major crackdown. Punishments must be made tougher, they say, perhaps even passing mandatory minimum sentences -- a drastic step the criminal law generally avoids. And, no surprise, more money must be given to the police to pay for stricter enforcement.In other words -- to put this in Santayana's terms -- the police want to redouble the effort against the marijuana trade. Fine. But what is the aim?Both the police and Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter seem to be saying the aim is to shut down the grow-ops, or at least get them out of residential neighbourhoods.This seems reasonable enough, given that grow-ops undeniably present a fire hazard due to illegal wiring. And they attract criminals who find ripping off grow-ops a lucrative business in itself. Snipped: Complete Article: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)Published: Thursday, March 4, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Ottawa CitizenContact: letters thecitizen.canwest.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links'We'll Rally Everybody,' Pot Activist Says of Canadians Inhale Despite Pot Laws Report on Cannabis: Get Whole Story -- Canada Archives 
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on March 04, 2004 at 13:52:48 PT
Canadian media
Yes Kappy I think we weren't the only ones waiting for the Canadian Supreme Court to legalize - the media seems to be realizing that nothing is going to happen, and, on the current path, the problems will get much worse. I noticed that Canadian cities were much nicer that American ones when I was only a kid, it was obvious even them. Compare Detroit to Toronto or Ottawa? Washington to Ottawa? Washington/Baltimore is basically a 3rd world country.
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on March 04, 2004 at 12:36:20 PT:
I beg to differ about the conclusion, Ron
I read the article all the way through. And the call to end cannabis prohbition is crisply clear. More and more, the editorials Up North are proving to be, as usual, more cogent and direct than anything we could expect from our tame, emasculated media here.If only because they dare to state the simple, unalloyed, unvarnished fact: the drug laws created the black market, and every legislative turn of the screw to tighten pressure on it merely makes the black market more lucrative, powerful...and ultimately dangerous as the scum of the earth muscle out the harmless Mom 'n' Pops.*Neither the police nor the Ontario government will even mull over such ideas, insisting the only way to go is to redouble their efforts. In other words, the criminal law will solve the problem the criminal law created.*Look at the last sentence of the quote; unlike many of our editors here, those at the Ottawa Citizen 'get it', all right. Try getting a major newspaper *here* to admit that simple's like pulling teeth *and* fingernails without benefit of novocaine.All this happening during a major anti confab? Down here, you'd see fawning reports of brave antis slugging it out with evil, disheveled, wild-eyed, child-corrupting 'druggies' who are supposed to be chasing little kids down the street with porno in one hand and a dripping syringe in the other. (Never mind this is ALL about cannabis; the media wonks here may not be able to spell 'conflation', but they are masters at it.)The Canuck media has labeled antis as being 'fanatics'. I'd say they get the picture.
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Comment #1 posted by ron on March 04, 2004 at 09:26:00 PT
Let's grow up on grow op laws
It sounds like this editorial writer understands the problem, but is afraid to come to a conclusion.I've heard that a good portion of the damage caused by grow ops is from the police trashing the place after the bust. Do any CN commentators know something about this?  
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