Thursday, December 29, 2005

Up in Arms 2

No doubt you have seen some coverage of the boxingday shooting in downtown Toronto. If you have not , you have not been on the internet, watched TV or read a Canadian newspaper. I don't know what kind of coverage this got in the States and the rest of the world, but it is everywhere up here. A 15 year old girl died because of a couple of gangs having a shoot out(I'm assuming) over drug turf. I know the area very well from my days as a Yonge St. Busker. This all took place about a block from where I used to play music and sell t-shirts. There was one gang that took over a local pinball and video game joint (that is no longer there) where if a fight broke out over drugs, knives were flashed, not guns. This was back in the 80's and 90's. Times have changed. So has the area and so has the weapons. The city thought that if they cleaned up the area, the drugs and the dealers would just go away. Tough cops hassling the kids,punks,users and small time dealers, as well as us artists and buskers did nothing but make the dealers hide it better. If pot was made legal way back then, we would not be in the same situation we are in now.

Alcohol or smokes are most kid's gateway to pot and then on to harder drugs. Raves have changed that scene too. Now they go to an alcohol-free event and take pills to get high. Smoking is frowned upon so pot smoking is also in the same class. A large percentage of Canadians have tried marijuana at one time or another. You can get it almost anywhere and people of all ages (Pierre Burton!) Smoke pot on a regular basis.

If it was made legal, a huge amount of money would be shifted from busting a bunch of peace-loving dope heads, clogging our Justice system and the manhours police work looking for pot in corn fields all could be turned over to fight the hard drug dealers. The money raised by taxing the pot like cigarettes could also be funneled to the police as well as to fund more treatment centres and addiction counseling. That little girl should not have died and it may have been prevented.

As a side note the one gun that was immediately seized was not registered so it proves what a farce (huge waste of taxpayer's money) the gun registry really is. That is my rant for today and I am sticking to it.


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