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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN BC: LTE: Other Views
Title:CN BC: LTE: Other Views
Published On:2012-02-01
Source:Sooke News Mirror (CN BC)
Fetched On:2012-02-02 06:03:49

It appears as though a few people have taken exception to my
suggestion that we abandon talk of legalizing marijuana and dedicate
ourselves to the development of our community's kids so that they can
go on and fulfill their potential. It's a shame that a such a small
minority (albeit very vocal minority) of our population are pouring
so much energy into pushing for the legalization of this harmful substance.

We know that the overwhelming majority of people in Sooke do not use
marijuana. We know that most families don't sit around the dinner
table chasing their pork roast with a joint. We know that they don't
pass a bong around Ayre Manor, nor do they encourage kids to smoke
marijuana at any of our great learning institutions in Sooke. This is
a community that has invested in protecting the future of our youth
by encouraging them to make smart, healthy choices, and we are better
as a result.

Yes, there is a small percentage of the population who have been
diagnosed with such terrible debilitating ailments that physicians
have seen fit to prescribe marijuana to help battle pain or stimulate
appetite. My heart bleeds for these folks, that their quality of life
has deteriorated to the point where the use of this substance is
necessary, but when I've had discussions with some of them, even they
have said that they do not wish for marijuana to be legal for any
other non-medicinal reason.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but everyone is not
entitled to their own facts. Marijuana has been proven to have over
400 chemicals, negatively effect the immune system, the respiratory
system, and impair judgement and coordination (
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/evidence99/marijuana/Health_1.html ).
Studies are now linking marijuana use to a variety of mental
disorders including acute toxic psychosis, delusions, panic attacks,
depersonalization and paranoia... which may help to explain the
accusation that marijuana prohibition is a giant police-led
government conspiracy to keep us employed. Anybody who has ever had
intimate knowledge of what a front line police officer does would
never say such a thing.

I would love to subscribe to the notion that organized crime could be
eliminated simply by legalizing marijuana, but the truth is that it
wouldn't matter. A great deal of the trafficking done by the
organized crime element takes place with international partners, and
would continue to thrive regardless of the legal status of marijuana
here at home. And they don't stop with marijuana. Ecstasy, cocaine,
heroin, meth, and whatever drug is waiting to be invented in the
future. They would get it to our kids without blinking a self
conscious eye, unless our kids were supported in making smart
decisions. The answer is not found in legalizing everything.

I visited the "LEAP" (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) website,
and one of the first things that you read is that they believe that
ALL drugs should be legalized. "Educators for Sensible Drug Policy"
feel the same way. I understand that this is a tiny group of law
enforcement officials and educators who feel beaten down by the
horrors they've seen as a result of drug use. I have felt that way at
times myself. After 26 years of policing, my head is full of horrific
memories relating to drug abuse (marijuana included) that could have
been avoided with smart decision making. But the answer is not to
give up. If we all devoted our energy to helping our kids make
healthy choices, then our world would be a better place.

We're fortunate here in Sooke, because so many are already working on
this, and I give my heartfelt thanks to the countless men, women and
families who continue to do this. I would also like to thank the many
who have e-mailed me with their support
(scott.hilderley@rcmp-grc.gc.ca) and I welcome contact from anyone
who would like to discuss other opportunities to help our kids thrive.

Cpl. Scott Hilderley

RCMP Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service
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