Thursday, March 03, 2005


Reports out of Alberta this afternoon indicate that four RCMP officers were shot and killed during a raid on a marijuana grow-op in the tiny village of Rochfort Bridge. The suspect is also reported to have killed himself.

Obviously this is an utter tragedy for the Mounties, their families, and the nation. As an RCMP spokesperson said:

"You'd have to go back to 1885, to the Northwest Rebellion, to have a loss of this magnitude. It's devastating."
This statement itslef says something significant about the Mounties and the level of violent crime in Canada, yet this event is still devastating beyond words.

It is an even greater tragedy because of the utter senslesness of the conditions that created it. Every year across North America incidents such as this occur as a result of the "war on drugs."

When are our legislators and our society at large going to seriously weigh the social and economic costs, not to mention the cost in lives, against the supposed benefits of our current anti-drug enforcement regime?

The costs of the drug war are spinning out of control at an exponential rate: from the unnecessarily imprisoned with their attendant social and economic costs, to the marginalized and untreated addicts, to the deaths that occur in associated drug violence.

The four officers who were killed today died performing their duty, enforcing the law and order of our land, for which they should be commended and memorialized. However, when do we ask if specific laws are worth that cost? When do we ask what type of order we are attempting to maintain?

The Liberals will be debating a proposal on the decriminalization of marijuana at their upcoming convention. One would hope that the four murders and one suicide that occurred today will cast a long shadow over that debate.

Posted by Matthew @ 9:04 p.m.

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Posted by Blogger Hockey Jones @ March 03, 2005 9:40 p.m. #
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