Drug investigations and police pursuits

Two people are dead in North Bay, Ontario, after a police pursuit. The vehicle was stopped at a drinking and driving road block. Officers initiated a drug investigation and attempted to arrest the occupants. However, they fled in the car, causing minor injuries to one of the officers. During the ensuing pursuit the suspect vehicle drove over a spike belt, continued driving and collided with an oncoming car. Both drivers were killed.

We’ve mentioned these pursuits before on the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition blog. And we’ll surely do it again.

It will be interesting to find out the amount of drugs involved, since that wasn’t provided in the initial press release. As Dave Dale notes in his column, “My only hope is that the initial arrest wasn’t over a relatively minor infraction. Someone please tell me two people didn’t die over a joint of pot.”

A separate article by The Globe and Mail misses the point entirely, as they don’t even mention the drug investigation. I guess the fundamental question is: should we even be arresting people for possessing drugs?

On another topic, the Court of Appeal for Ontario criticized Judge J. Elliott Allen for stating the obvious: criminal penalties do not deter drug traffickers.

Judge Allen expressed his views on Oct. 14, 2008, while sentencing Zeyu Song to a conditional sentence for producing 1,400 marijuana plants at a large-scale grow operation near Brampton, Ontario.

Judge Elliott spoke at length about the fallacy of believing that harsh penalties for marijuana have any effect on its use and production.

“Nobody has been deterred,” he said. “People have been going to jail for drug offences for – for a couple of generations now and the drug – the drug plague is worse than it ever was … If something doesn’t work, do I try doing it again and again to see if it does work? Isn’t that the definition of insanity?”

Perhaps when Judge Allen retires from the bench he will consider becoming a speaker with LEAP.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: