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Judge Won't Jail Pot Grower


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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British Columbia
02 Sep 2006

by Paul Walton, staff writer,
Police Say Judge Is Overlooking Connection To Organized Crime

Comments by a Courtenay provincial court judge that marijuana growing is a "victimless crime" highlight a continuing debate over the best way to respond to the problems with pot.

Judge Brian Saunderson, in sentencing a 41-year-old man earlier this month, refused to consider a jail sentence requested by the Crown.

Fining the man $20,000 for a $500,000 pot operation, Saunderson cited a California judge, James P. Gray, who wrote "Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do about It: A Judicial Indictment of the War on Drugs."

Saunderson quoted Gray's conclusion that the war on drugs is now more harmful than drug abuse itself. The comments came just as Island Mounties finished a well-publicized blitz, using Canadian Forces helicopters, against outdoor growing operations.

In various releases and comments throughout the operation, police have repeated that marijuana funds organized crime and is a general threat to the community.

Simon Fraser University crimin-ologist Neil Boyd said although it is correct that pot growing is linked to organized crime, it is only the illegality of marijuana that has created this situation.

He suggests treating marijuana like alcohol.

"It's also correct to say a regulatory model would make much more sense," he said. "Our policies are right now lining the pockets of marijuana growers."

But retired Mountie Phil Humphries, who once headed the drug section in Nanaimo, said police just shake their heads when they hear comments like Saunderson's.

"It just totally goes against what's happening out there," said Humphries.

Humphries said he knows for a fact that marijuana growing facilitates crime groups to deal in cocaine and weapons. Marijuana goes south, he said, and cocaine and guns come north.

"How can he say it's a victimless crime? It doesn't make sense."

Boyd said the simpler solution is to regulate pot out of the hands of criminals.

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hash for humanity
Aug 21, 2006
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That retired mountie is a bonehead. if people wanting and or using guns and cocaine would suddenly stop in the absence of marijuana???

At least the numbers of judges realizing the war, and penalties on marijuana, have been an utter disaster to this society, are continuing to climb.

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