OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino issued a press release on Wednesday with a number of alarming and unsubstantiated claims about the dangers of marijuana cultivation. He did not provide any evidence or statistics to back his statements, most of which directly contradicted scientific evidence.
After 75 years of marijuana prohibition, Mr Fantino described the success of the policy: marijuana cultivation is “epidemic”.
OPP Inspector Brian Martin stated that police spend 60% of their anti-drug resources on marijuana cultivation. Every year his police force boasts record seizures, and every year more pot is grown, so police ask for more money.
One need only look to the failure of alcohol prohibition to see these same economics at work.
The Canadian Senate recommended legalizing marijuana. A majority of Canadians support legalizing marijuana. The most vocal opposition to legalization is the police, the same police that waste vast sums of money enforcing marijuana laws.
Public servants like the police should not use the media for what amounts to lobbying government for more money. The evidence is clear: legalizing and regulating marijuana is far more effective than policing at controlling marijuana. But, you will not hear Mr. Fantino admit that.