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News (Media Awareness Project) - CN AB: Drug Amnesty Eyed
Title:CN AB: Drug Amnesty Eyed
Published On:2012-02-01
Source:Calgary Sun, The (CN AB)
Fetched On:2012-02-03 06:01:57

Calgary cops are considering offering an ecstasy
amnesty in the wake of a rash of recent deaths.

As members of the Calgary Police Commission met
Tuesday, Commissioner Charles Pratt raised the
possibility of offering an amnesty to quell a
spate of fatal overdoses linked to a tainted version of the party drug.

Noting the money-making drug is clearly lining
peoples' pockets, Pratt questioned whether an
amnesty would be a way to get some of the deadly
drugs off the streets before there are more victims.

Calgary police drug unit Staff Sgt. Mike Bossley
said the issue is currently being discussed to
compliment a high-profile public education
campaign focussing on steering potential users
away from ecstasy that may have the presence of
PMMA, a compound linked to most of the deaths.

It is something we are discussing =85 if it would
be appropriate and whether it would be applicable here,=93 he said.

Cops have linked nine deaths to ecstasy in the
city and surrounding area since June 2011 =AD with
the bulk of those since the end of December =AD and
testing has found PMMA in seven of the victims.

RCMP in Alberta and B.C. have also linked several
recent deaths to variations of the drug known as E.

Saying people are being encouraged to =93destroy
the drugs=94 in whatever way possible, Bossley said
officials are aware other law enforcement
agencies have considered the amnesty option,
adding there are legal considerations and a
decision on that front will likely be made in upcoming weeks.

The choice was an easy one for police in
Abottsford, a community of about 137,000 in B.C.

Contending with a death on Dec. 22 of a teen in
the community, who claimed to take ecstasy to
lose weight, the decision at the behest of the
chief was made to offer to dispose of the drugs, no questions asked.

Abbottsford police spokesman, Const. Ian
MacDonald, said there hasn't been a rush on
people coming forward, although some has been turned in.

We do not want to target users,=94 he said Tuesday.

I would be hesitant in calling it an amnesty, it
hasn't been formalized in any way but if they
want assistance in disposal of it, if there is a
preference of no questions asked, we would be happy to be in receipt of it.

We want to keep people alive.=94

He said the second objective is =93to go after the sources=94 and suppliers.

Saying ecstasy =93is killing people,=93 Bossley said
Calgary police are pushing the message that
anyone taking the drug is gambling with their
life while urging parents to talk to their
children about perils associated with the drug.

He would not discuss details of an investigation
into who is supplying the drug in Calgary.
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