Friday, March 04, 2005

Four Canadian mounties were shot and killed when they entered an illegal marijuana grow operation.

The killings focused attention on Canada's booming illegal marijuana trade, which in the West Coast province of British Columbia alone is worth an estimated C$5 billion a year. Police say the trade is dominated by organized crime. The federal government says casual pot users should not end up with a criminal record and last November unveiled draft legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts – an idea that angered US law enforcement officials.

WHY??? Why should this anger law enforcement? If it wasn't illegal, the officers would still be alive!

Let's put this another way. Just for argument sake, let's say we made hot chocolate illegal. Then four cops get killed while busting a mob-owned hot chocolate-making operation. Is the solution to:

(a) End hot chocolate prohibition.
(b) Pass out harsher punishments for drinking and making hot chocolate.

Let's suppose you pick answer (b). What happens then? First, the price of hot chocolate is going to go up. Why?

Previously, some mob-controlled chocolate smuggler would have been willing to charge you $25 for a cup, now he wants $60 because you chose (b), and now the minimum sentence is 10 years, not 3.

Now a normal smuggling operation involves 1,000 packets. The shipment that used to be worth $25,000 is now worth $60,000. As a cocoa kingpin, you need to start hiring people a little more ruthless and a little less willing to roll over on you. No two-bit thug wants to get caught with 60k of Brazilian Powpow, so you hire people both inclined to kill to protect the investment and protect both your asses. Maybe pay off a few cops to keep an ear on the inside, maybe you keep a judge on the books. Don't forget the wiseguys to knock off any competition and Chinese gangs are beginning to enter the business. You don't discourage them with love letters.

At some point in reading all this did you ask yourself, "why the fuck did we make hot chocolate illegal in the first place?"


Far and away the most frequent objection I hear to marijuana is that it leads to harder drugs. I have to answers.

First, it isn't true. Cocaine use skyrocketed in the 80's while marijuana use plummeted and vice versa in the 90's. It simply attracts different people. Marijuana attracts carpenters. Coke attracts assholes.

Second, maybe if you didn't make your average grocery store manager consort with drug dealers, who knows, maybe hard drug use would go down?

Just a thought.

It's consumed in less quantities than tobacco, it doesn't seem to cause lung cancer (even then, there are plenty of ways to ingest it other than smoking), it has been found to retard certain types of cancer and it's impossible to overdose on. Impossible. Nobody has ever died of a cannabis overdose.

Can't say that about alcohol, can you? About a half-million people die in the U.S. each year from these two drugs. Where's the prohibition? Bought and paid for, that's where.

When I hear that four cops got killed, I think it's tragic. I think it's tragic for them and tragic for their families. But I blame the people who created the problem in the first place. I bet 90% of them have a well-stocked liquor cabinet.

Make something illegal and you will invariably introduced organized crime and thus violence into the picture. Period.

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