Letter: Other views

Legalization of marijuana not the answer says RCMP Cpl. Hilderley

It appears as though a few people have taken exception to my suggestion that we abandon talk of legalizing marijuana and dedicate ourselves to the development of our community’s kids so that they can go on and fulfill their potential.  It’s a shame that a such a small minority (albeit very vocal minority) of our population are pouring so much energy into pushing for the legalization of this harmful substance.

We know that the overwhelming majority of people in Sooke do not use marijuana. We know that most families don’t sit around the dinner table chasing their pork roast with a joint. We know that they don’t pass a bong around Ayre Manor, nor do they encourage kids to smoke marijuana at any of our great learning institutions in Sooke. This is a community that has invested in protecting the future of our youth by encouraging them to make smart, healthy choices, and we are better as a result.

Yes, there is a small percentage of the population who have been diagnosed with such terrible debilitating ailments that physicians have seen fit to prescribe marijuana to help battle pain or stimulate appetite.  My heart bleeds for these folks, that their quality of life has deteriorated to the point where the use of this substance is necessary, but when I’ve had discussions with some of them, even they have said that they do not wish for marijuana to be legal for any other non-medicinal reason.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but everyone is not entitled to their own facts. Marijuana has been proven to have over 400 chemicals, negatively effect the immune system, the respiratory system, and impair judgement and coordination (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/evidence99/marijuana/Health_1.html).  Studies are now linking marijuana use to a variety of mental disorders including acute toxic psychosis, delusions, panic attacks, depersonalization and paranoia… which may help to explain the accusation that marijuana prohibition is a giant police-led government conspiracy to keep us employed. Anybody who has ever had intimate knowledge of what a front line police officer does would never say such a thing.

I would love to subscribe to the notion that organized crime could be eliminated simply by legalizing marijuana, but the truth is that it wouldn’t matter. A great deal of the trafficking done by the organized crime element takes place with international partners, and would continue to thrive regardless of the legal status of marijuana here at home. And they don’t stop with marijuana.  Ecstasy, cocaine, heroin, meth, and whatever drug is waiting to be invented in the future. They would get it to our kids without blinking a self conscious eye, unless our kids were supported in making smart decisions. The answer is not found in legalizing everything.

I visited the “LEAP” (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) website, and one of the first things that you read is that they believe that ALL drugs should be legalized. “Educators for Sensible Drug Policy” feel the same way. I understand that this is a tiny group of law enforcement officials and educators who feel beaten down by the horrors they’ve seen as a result of drug use. I have felt that way at times myself.  After 26 years of policing, my head is full of horrific memories relating to drug abuse (marijuana included) that could have been avoided with smart decision making.  But the answer is not to give up.  If we all devoted our energy to helping our kids make healthy choices, then our world would be a better place.

We’re fortunate here in Sooke, because so many are already working on this, and I give my heartfelt thanks to the countless men, women and families who continue to do this. I would also like to thank the many who have e-mailed me with their support (scott.hilderley@rcmp-grc.gc.ca) and I welcome contact from anyone who would like to discuss other opportunities to help our kids thrive.

 

Cpl. Scott Hilderley

RCMP Drugs and Organized Crime Awareness Service

Just Posted

Man arrested in Colwood sentenced for trafficking fentanyl

The man was arrested in February and has been sentenced to three years imprisonment

West Shore youth looking to give back this Christmas

Chase Doucette will hand out bags of warm apparel to the homeless

Local leaders of all ages honoured at National Philanthropy Day event

Awards in six categories given to Victoria residents who are leaders in giving back

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Most Read