Friday, March 04, 2005

High on Emotion? Surprisingly not...

Please pardon the reference to a Chris deBurgh song - my partner is a CdeB addict, and it has filtered into my discourse. I am referring to the responses now filtering out about yesterday's tragedy, where four RCMP officers were killed in a shoot-out at a marijuana grow-op in northern Alberta.

I was fully expecting political leaders, in particular Stephen Harper, to react emotionally and use this incident to argue that marijuana is not an innocent drug, and thus should not be decriminalized. Instead, as this piece from the Globe and Mail indicates, Harper is taking a more reasoned stance. Essentially, he is citing this as an isolated incident which has nothing to do with decriminalization of marijuana, although he still opposes that legislation. Colour me surprised, but pleased.

Unfortunately, I rather fear that Harper's words of calming will have little effect on the grassroots. If I, a person who supports decriminalization, immediately reacted to the coverage with fear that people would immediately jump to the equation "marijuana = RCMP deaths", I suspect that others will as well.

On a related note, I have to admit to being shaken up by the fact that one of the constables killed is about my age. My heart goes out to their families and friends for their loss.

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