Comment 31758

By Frank (registered) | Posted June 16, 2009 at 10:06:02

JonC, related to your talk about the sex trade. Can you provide me with any real evidence that this is the case? That when sexual solicitation is "ok" they get less? Just because they're legal doesn't mean they happen less, it means you hear about it less...smoke and mirrors. As for the establishments not being staffed with relatives of the owner, you make my point for me. All of those who are working in these places are someone's relatives and chances are they don't want them there just as much as you don't want yours there. Remember the Golden Rule? I have been doing exactly what you've been doing with information. It's hard to find any one site to get everything from...

GregB, might I point out that the police force's duties extend to the public (read society) as a whole. In your first example, both of you should be punished or at least reprimanded (although perhaps one more than the other - don't forget the innocent til proven guilty rule) and that's not something that escapes the police force. The things that you are calling ok could very well be (and I'd suggest are for the majority) "genuinely bad" for others. You're taking a very narrow and selfish view on society by only looking at your actions and how they affect YOU. If you can show me significant numbers of people who are addicted to anything other than kindness who legitimately think that their addiction has helped them get along in life, I'll concede defeat. Until then, I posit that drugs in general are detrimental to society. Therefore, they should never be legalized/decriminalized.

As for your friends of occasional users who are afraid of police...you're blowing things WAY out of proportion. I also have friends who are occasional users and I'm absolutely not afraid of the police. In fact, neither are they. Are you calling us some of the few then? There are definitely police officers who would alter focus when they smell pot on you if you're trying to report something because they're work force happens to be a cross section of society, however, I'd suggest that many would not take that stance. I have three relatives one each in local, provincial and federal police forces as well as several friends who are local officers here in Hamilton and I know none of them would do that. You're a scared rabbit...have you ever tried it? Instead of watching CSI, watch The First 48 or even something like Disorderly Conduct or go try something... it's reality and you're going to find out that despite a person's appearance, smell, gender etc, their statements are always (since I've been watching the show anyway) taken and treated as any others would unless of course, the person making the allegations starts beating up the police officer... Heck I've even seen a short video (you might be able to find it on Youtube) of an officer trying to stop a speeding car at night with naked people hanging out the window and not only the driver got charged (the others got a warning).

You said "After the police and the justice system send my otherwise moral and principled friend to jail for what is obviously harmless or at worst slightly self-destructive behavior and you can bet that the police/justice system and I won't be co-operating any time soon." Once again, you're assuming that his behaviour only affects him. What if your friend has kids? or lives an apartment beside a young family and smokes up on his balcony? what if your "otherwise moral" friend manages to surround himself with "otherwise moral" friends and does something stupid like trying to cross Main Street like he's playing Frogger? At any of the above points, his behaviour DIRECTLY affects others and can no longer be called simply "self destructive". Also, by turning a blind eye to "self destructive" behaviour, where does one stop? Should we start turning a blind eye to all "self destructive" behaviour? Once you start moving the goal posts, they're very easy to pick up and move again. And not only that, you're last statement is quite childish. It reminds me of those times when I was a kid at school and my friend had said something mean and my response would be "well you're not coming to my birthday party".

You said "I know and have known a very large amount of marijuana users over the years and one trait that they share, almost to a person, is that they demonstrate empathy, at least to some degree. Most non-empathetic people I have met (many) tend to use alcohol as their drug of choice, or are "drug free" (if you don't count prescription drugs)." So then the solution to being a jerk is getting addicted to drugs? Man, I wish you'd come out with that sooner... We're back to sweeping generalizations in favour of your viewpoint. (i.e. pessimistic)

You said "Take that whole group of people (cannabis users) out of the police force as a career pool, already the people who can't stomach persecuting good people for harmless behavior have been voluntarily removed themselves from that pool - what is left but the increased likelihood of being able to find four people who would out and out execute Robert Dziekanski. Of all the dope smokers and junkies I have known I'd be really hard pressed to come up with four of them who would not have shown some concern for the treatment of a fellow human." Really? well I'd prefer that those people driving those cars with the fancy schmancy lights on them and the sirens don't have the inkling to stop by the local drug dealer for a toke. They have something on their hips far more dangerous than a taser and a lot more responsibility than your average citizen. And what's up with using Dziekanski as a reference? Are you suggesting that because those officers weren't pot users they chose to use their tasers? Just because every user you know is a nice person doesn't mean they're all that way. Take a shift at the Living Rock downtown. You'll find a couple of guys there who are "users" who are definitely not warm and fuzzy... And yes, I did volunteer there.

While it may appear from my posts that I support only enforcement and punishment, I don't. I'd like to see a balanced system of punishment relative to the crime (probably not hard time for simple possession of a very small amount of cannibis but real, hard time for dealers and traffickers etc) and treatment for those who need it.

What I'm sick of hearing is the argument that because our justice system is structured such that dealers and their cronies can get off charges easily and head back on the streets with a slap on the wrist we should legalize something. What our justice system currently calls enforcement is hardly enforcement at all so why are we calling it that? All this move did was make one aspect of a drug charge actually punishable...and now you're all scared? IMO, enforcement hasn't even been tried yet...

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