Police from five different units of the OPP busted a couple of middle-aged people with possession of 24 grams of weed and a pipe in Foots Bay last week.
The street value of the pot was estimated to be about $240.
We’re guessing that it cost a lot more than a couple of hundred bucks for officers from the Bracebridge detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, the OPP West Parry Sound Crime Unit, the OPP Community Drug Action Team, the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau Drug Enforcement Unit and the OPP K-9 to execute the search warrant. It’s likely the search warrant alone cost more to apply for and obtain. There are levels of bureaucracy to go through, and we all know that bureaucracy is costly at every level.
We don’t blame the police for wasting our money, it’s not their fault. They don’t choose which laws they’re going to enforce – that’s a job for the people making the laws.
And it’s time for them to give their heads a shake. Prohibition doesn’t work; never has, never will. Sixty-five per cent of Canadians want marijuana laws changed. The earliest remains of human settlement show evidence of recreational drugs. Gorillas and apes have a taste for hallucinogens and stimulants. Primates want to get high and no government is going to stop them.
Certainly there are social problems that go along with the abuse of any drug, whether it’s vodka or marijuana. Criminalizing the huge numbers of Canadians who want to smoke some herb doesn’t help solve those problems. Making headway with drug abuse will only happen when it’s treated as a health issue, rather than a legal one.
We recognize that not everyone will agree with us; we expect some people to disagree vehemently. But social policy aside, this is a financial issue. It’s not just a moral issue, it’s a matter of dollars and cents. Or is that common sense?
As Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare tells us, it’s a fairy tale to imagine that we will have the same level of health care services at our hospitals with an aging population; as the numbers of people requiring help from our food banks rapidly increase; as our municipality struggles to make due with significantly less funds from the province; and as our police services are straining at the seams, in part because they are dealing with more and more people with mental health issues. Something’s got to give.