Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Red Herrings and doobies

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/03/04/canada.shooting.reut/index.html

An absolutely terrible tragedy, but I see that it's being twisted into some sort of bizarre anti-marijuana campaign, and it just proves how absolutely absurd wars on drugs are.

"Public Security Minister Anne McLellan said on Thursday she would look at further toughening the bill, under which growers caught with more than 50 plants face up to 14 years in jail."

Other articles have further highlighted the embarrassment that this comes at a time that the Canadian government is considering relaxing pot laws, and this might cause them to rethink that.

This just boggles my mind - man is doing something illegal (A), police come on his property, man does something a TRILLION times worse (probably ending up killing himself - self imposing basically the pinnacle of most penalty systems) = We need to increase the penalties for (A).

This logic just boggles the mind.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
March 4th, 2005
[shrug] Look at Columbine, which prompted a huge outcry for "more and tougher gun laws"

Never mind that the boys had illegal weapons puchased illegally, took them to school (illegal) and - committed mass homicide. If we had had just one more law prohibiting something they did, boy, it never would've happened.

Remember my earlier post - when something bad happens and society is given a choice between
a) addressing a complex underlying issue that requires social engineering and maybe blaming some people it's uncomfortable to blame (bad parenting and cliques at high school were the root cause)
b) passing what is probably a redundant and useless law that won't be enforce but it will make us feel better

It's human nature to choose (b)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
March 4th, 2005
---" [shrug] Look at Columbine, which prompted a huge outcry for "more and tougher gun laws""-------

Well, if the guy had bludgeoned the Mounties to death with a full-grown marijuana plant you might have a point, but as it is ......
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 4th, 2005
I'm with Dennis. Yes, large scale growing of marijuana is very illegal, but the illegality of it, in no way, is the cause of the deaths of those four police officers. Their deaths are the direct result of the individual who has thankfully chosen to help us all out, by ridding the world of his existince. If anything, the fact that he was able to "ambush" all four, cries out more for questioning of the training and subsequent deployment of the four RCMP.
Permalink Crazy Old Guy 
March 4th, 2005
How about the father's response; "Because of the drugs, you know, and the bad company with bad boys ... (that) dragged him off the good tracks"

Yah right, the kid was an angel that was force onto the side of darkness. Or maybe he was influenced by parents that would say "He is not my son."
Permalink Steamrolla 
March 4th, 2005
Multiple choice:

(a) It's society's fault.
(b) He deserved what he got.
(c) Damn that George Bush!
(d) All of the above.
Permalink example 
March 4th, 2005
"If anything, the fact that he was able to "ambush" all four, cries out more for questioning of the training and subsequent deployment of the four RCMP"

Sure, when GWB nukes Iran we should start questioning the training and subsequent deployment of Iranian soldiers.
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 4th, 2005
They came to BC and Canada because the penalties in US is much tougher.

If the penalties are the same, they would go back to the proper country.
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 4th, 2005
I'm going to talk about drug penalties, but really they have zero bearing on this case - some guy had criminal enterprises, and he had no bones about becoming the ultimate criminal about killing four police offices in cold blood. He could have been stealing stuff (as he was), cheating on his income tax, or beating his dog. The drug part was ancillary, and is being used to forward some agendas.

Back to your post - Who are "they"? The criminal in this case was a Canadian, as are most other grow operators.

In any case the reality in Canada is that the government _does_ soft peddle about marijuana and grow ops, to the degree that most of the people caught ARE mom and pop operations -- it cuts organized crime out of it. One could say that it is significantly LESS violent because the punishment is less severe, though the more police crack down and toughen their stance, the more violence and organized crime gets in the picture.

This is where the paradox of law can come into play, and why it's unbelievable that the government is loosening possession laws (which they have to do as the overwhelming social belief, in the US and Canada, is that the current laws are ridiculous. We recently learned that Mr. Bush really did smoke some reef) while tighetening cultivation laws - the demand is still there, possibly even increased, and thus the potential for lucrative money making. If you scare the petty, largely harmless criminals out of it, what you're left with are the _real_ criminals. The armed gangs that will more regularly kill police and make a getaway while running large, serious operations, killing witnesses and informants.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
March 4th, 2005
This is the paradox that leads to most violent crime in the US. The police blame drugs for the violent thuggery and gangs, yet in actuality it's the police response to drugs that creates this environments (or rather the interference between the two). If every whacked out junky could get their fix with ease, you wouldn't have gun toting gangs carving up territories in cities.

It's quite a fascinating study.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
March 4th, 2005
Nobody here seems to have noted the fact that the man in question killed himself after killing the police officers. That makes it effectively the same situation as a suicide bomber. No increasing of penalties is going to deter someone who plans to kill themself in committing a crime.
Permalink Ian Boys 
March 4th, 2005
Ah, but did he really plan on killing himself or was that also ancillary after realizing the the brevity of his actions?

The only thing more dangerous about pot than alcohol was that it was going to seriously cut into cotton farmer's pockets so it was demonized and legislated against (at least in the U.S.) on what was largely a financial agenda of cotton farmers.
Permalink I am Jack's smelly smoke 
March 4th, 2005
One may think that potting and taking marijuana should not be a crime. That's fine.

Now my theory is that since the penalties in the States is much higher than Canada, and the major market is in the States, less people grow it in the States and more people grow it in Canada. If the penalties are similar, then more people would grow in the States and less in Canada.

The tough criminals and gangs would do it no matter what. But RCMP now could concentrate their resource and effort to deal with them.

Perhaps we should just disband all our prisons. We could not stop the criminals anyway.
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 4th, 2005
Pot would be the perfect drug for an experiment in legalization.
1) I'm pretty sure it's impossible to overdose (without dying of smoke inhalation).
2) A large segment of the American population has experimented with it.
3) A large number of non-violent offenders could be released from prison in the related amnesty.

Last words: "Harm reduction".
Permalink  
March 4th, 2005
"The tough criminals and gangs would do it no matter what. But RCMP now could concentrate their resource and effort to deal with them."

And win the drug war once and for all? Free the world of the scourge and evil of drugs?

I find it absolutely frightening that anyone could possibly think this.

Firstly, the core "drug problem" isn't suppliers - you ___CANNOT__, with tremendous resources such that the US has put against the drug war, stop the suppliers, and it is a testament to the unbelievable power of denial that people still think you can. The more you try, the more profitable the enterprise becomes and the more resources the suppliers will have at their disposal to bribe, coerce, kill, and hide their supplies, until the torrent is so great that the price equalizes again. Organized crime is almost entirely financed on the wonderful "hostile exclusive supplier" position the government granted them. Drugs are more available in the US and Canada as they ever have been, despite the big photo op busts of the one boat they caught that made it lucrative for 3 more groups to send a shipment.

So go after the users - well given the numbers involved in the drug war, apparently that's an awful lot of people. (SIDENOTE: I haven't touched anything illegal since high school, so before any mortard cues up the typical comment - can it). The public would never stomach that, and at most will tolerate the rounding up of the beatnicks and ethnics.

It's this convoluted situation that makes this war absolutely absurd.

"Perhaps we should just disband all our prisons. We could not stop the criminals anyway."

This is just a lame strawman that I'll leave alone.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
March 4th, 2005
Strawman argument? That's the essentially what you are saying -- we could not stop it so we should make it legal.

People like me are all for legalizing marijuana because it is not really harmful and even if it is government should treat it like health problem.

Just don't bring me the arguement that since we could not stop it we should make it legal.
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 4th, 2005
> Just don't bring me the arguement that since we could not stop it we should make it legal.

I think Dennis arguing that making it illegal does more harm than good (for example it becomes a source of revenue for organized crime, and a further occasion for organized crime to engage in lucrative but illegal activities which they violently defend), and therefore we should "decriminalise" it.
Permalink Christopher Wells 
March 4th, 2005
Is he? How about this ...

"If you scare the petty, largely harmless criminals out of it, what you're left with are the _real_ criminals"

We should change the law so we have both largely harmless criminals and real criminals?
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 4th, 2005
"We should change the law so we have both largely harmless criminals and real criminals?"

So all criminals and crimes are the same? Brutal, well armed killers are the same as some guy growing weed in his basement?

Okay...
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
March 4th, 2005
> Is he?

Yes I think so.

> We should change the law so we have both largely harmless criminals and real criminals?

Decriminalizing an activity is about harm reduction, and about removing the ecosystem in which anyone who exists is a criminal, in which consumers are interested to criminals, in which criminals make big money, and which consequently attracts and perpetuates criminal interest.

Today, pot is illegal. now imagine that, today, someone buys a toke from some stranger somewhere: because it's illegal, the consumer can only buy it from some illicit dealer, who is willing to traffic in illegal drugs: that increases the risk to the consumer. Similarly, the consumer's money goes to enrich somebody who is willing to traffic in illegal drugs, and who needs to defend himself against the risk of police intervention in his business: that increases the risk to society.

Compare that with society's laws concerning alcohol, for example: because anyone is legally allowed to make (and distribute?) alcohol, therefore there's no criminal activity associated with the manufacture of alcohol: nobody murdered for their home brew, no criminal gangs self-financed by their sales of beer at prices that the War on Beer has pushed to exorbitant heights due to scarcity, etc.

[There may be criminal activity associated with the *consumption* of alcohol, but that's another matter].
Permalink Christopher Wells 
March 4th, 2005
----"Perhaps we should just disband all our prisons. We could not stop the criminals anyway."----

Quite impractical.
1) The workers in the prison industry and their families mainly vote republican
2) The inmates would naturally vote Democrat.

If you disbanded all the prisons, the inmates would be able to vote against you, and you'd have lost the vote of the laid-off workers and all their families.
Permalink Stephen Jones 
March 4th, 2005
"Decriminalization". What bullshit. Either it's legal to possess, use, manufacture, and distribute, or it isn't. What good is eliminating the penalty for use and possession if manufacture and distribution are still illegal? You still have to deal with a criminal to obtain the substance.

License growers/distributors of pot. Make them pay into a trust to cover treatment for addicts and/or future lawsuits of idiots that develop lung cancer from smoking too much weed. Then let the public decide.
Permalink  
March 4th, 2005
A nice description of the impact of the law. That's not to say because of that we should legalize a behaviour.

All that matters is whether pot is harmful. No scientific data said it is. Or at least the harm is not severe. So both selling and consuming should be ok. (I am sure the US government wouldn't like it)

Harm reduction matters to cocaine.

I am quite confident with Canadian legal system all in all.

:) Just keep the French culture inside Quebec.
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 4th, 2005
I guess the issue is it is not a crime to harm yourselves but it is a crime to harm others.

Eventually, I bet I could get a prescription of pot from my family doctor.
Permalink Rick Tang 
March 4th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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