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Jay Currie

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3/05/2005

Competing for Dumb

Marijuana production is a violent, organized scourge that judges must battle with firm sentences, says Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan.

McLellan, speaking a day after four Mounties were killed during a raid on a marijuana grow op in Alberta, said society must recognize the dangers posed by a countrywide boom in such operations, which are often backed by organized crime.


McLellan said Friday that judges who don't penalize traffickers according to the severity of their crimes should be called to account.

"I would say that all of us - including the judiciary - need to understand what is at stake here. And I think yesterday was a horrible and tragic reminder."

Judges who don't put major producers behind bars will have to offer reasons under the proposed legislation, McLellan said during a national Liberal policy convention.
cp
Ah, it's the judge's fault.

And it's about pot. Colby Cosh puts paid to the pot argument here.

What is really dumb here is the idea that stiffer sentences for grow-operators would somehow have mitigated the tragedy of the deaths of the four RCMP members. The shooter had nothing to do with organized crime. He was a crime wave unto himself.

We are seeing the weird phenomena of politicians, in the face of tragedy, feeling they have to do something...blame a judge, stiffen sentences. The last time this happened we were blessed with the gun registry when too many people were being shot dead on the leafy streets of TO.

Harper gets this, (I quote from Colby's post,
The truth is, he said, there is no real way to protect people from every possible situation if a dangerous or disturbed individual lashes out. "We can't just run out on the basis of a single tragedy and make up a bunch of laws."


In fact small time grow ops are not terribly likely to lead to violence unless the laws are tightened to such an extent that, in the impaired calculus of the grow operators, it makes some sort of sense to be ready to shoot it out in the event of a bust.

Where organized crime is involved is in the large ops and in the shipping of the bud to the vast markets of drug obsessed America.

Now, think seriously for a moment, do you really think the wise guys are sitting in dark, humid basements adjusting the lights and the feeds? Or driving trunkloads of pot across the border? No? Gee, neither do I.

But McLellan, knows that if you take a tragedy, stir in the assertion of organized crime's involvement and shake vigorously there is every chance the average Canadian will conflate the two. If you can do a drive-by dump on judges whose sentences reflect the reality that no one gives a damn about grow ops you have the perfect political moment.

You appear to be doing something without actually, er, doing anything.

Smoke, mirrors, lies - yes, its the Liberal Party in action.