Four RCMP Officers Killed

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Four young RCMP officers were shot and killed this week after trying to stake out a marijuana growing operation on a farm north of Edmonton.

Not since law enforcement officials tried to exterminate the M?ɬ©tis people in 1885 has this many offices been killed in the line of duty in Canada.

This is a sad day indeed.

While I am not advocating the criminilisation or the decriminalisation of marijuana, certainly some will point out that had marijuana not been illegal, these four officers would be alive today.

10 thoughts on “Four RCMP Officers Killed

  1. Technically, this is so, but it certainly seems disingenuous to phrase it so after professing a lack of bias toward the decriminalization question. If the four had drawn different duty, or taken police jobs in different departments or different cities, or decided to study Ranch Management instead of Law Enforcement, or…

    Frankly, I think the biggest proximate cause is, If the illegal marijuana growers had not SHOT them, they’d be alive today.

  2. Would you feel differently if they were raiding a crystal meth lab instead?
    If marijuana were legal, these criminals would simply be growing or smuggling something else, possibly with the same results.
    Even if it is a bit silly to criminalize marijuana, it didn’t make any of this happen.

  3. Police (RCMP and all others) are killed every day throughout the world. When you look at the statistics most of them are killed not because of drug busts etc but through investigating calls on domestic violence.

  4. “Would you feel differently if they were raiding a crystal meth lab instead?”

    No. I would still find it to be a sad day indeed.

  5. What I meant was that these officers died in the line of duty enforcing the laws of Canada. It doesn’t really matter what the law was that they were enforcing.
    Minor traffic violations are not really dangerous in and of themselves, but plenty of police officers have died after making traffic stops. This isn’t the traffic law’s fault.
    But I agree, it is a sad day.

  6. I’m inclined to think that the individual (Roszko?) who shot them was the type of individual who would be working in some illegal enterprise, regardless of what it was. Whether it was marijuana growing or running a chop shop (he had done the latter), he would have shot at police who came to investigate.

    What should really be pointed out is Canada’s wishy-washy approach to marijuana. Small amounts are effectively legal, but to actually produce the stuff on an ‘economies of scale’ level is breaking the law. But by effectively removing the stick for the casual user, it increases the demand, which increases the push for people to supply the stuff. The current ‘wink-and-nod’ approach encourages grow-ops like Roszko’s, and without a deterent for the casual user, demand will remain high.

  7. “If marijuana were legal, these criminals would simply be growing or smuggling something else, possibly with the same results.”

    Can we be so sure? Are they in it becaus they want to be criminals, or because they want to make money? If the latter, then does legalising marijuana really take away the opportunity to make money? The money is still there to be made, it just switches from illegal to legal.

    “The current ‘wink-and-nod’ approach encourages grow-ops like Roszko’s, and without a deterent for the casual user, demand will remain high.”

    This is true to only a small degree. In actuality, a larger percentage of Canadian-grown marijuana is exported to the United States.

    “Sources close to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency [Adminstration] say it will soon issue a report claiming there are 15 to 20,000 marijuana growing operations in British Columbia alone and 95 per cent of the output is headed south.”

    — Carl Hanlon, Global National Television News, 6:30 pm EDT, Monday, May 13, 2002

    “Mr. Walters said last week the United States is already alarmed that 95% of the marijuana grown in British Columbia is sent south of the border. The growers are largely Vietnamese organized crime groups who have moved into Ontario and Quebec to supply the U.S. market with high-potency and high-quality marijuana, he said.”

    — Decriminalization will cause border delays, hurt economy, Alliance critic says: Tighter border security, National Post, Monday, December 16, 2002

    “Liberalizing laws will boost drug use and bring more pot into the United States, said John Walters, director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Canada is already a major source of marijuana for the United States, with an estimated $2.5 billion worth smuggled in each year, Walters said Thursday.”

    — U.S. Frets Canada May Ease Marijuana Law, New York Times, December 12, 2002

    “[US Drug Czar ] Mr. [John] Walters said this week that 90 per cent of a highly potent strain of Canadian marijuana being grown in Canada is shipped to the U.S.”

    — RCMP focuses on traffickers: commissioner: Mounties not interested in making criminals out of marijuana users, The Ottawa Citizen, May 16, 2003

  8. Thanks for the sources, Kim. I had no idea that most of the Canadian drug production heads south to the United States. I guess this shows the complexities of living next door to such a large market. If Canada were to completely legalize marijuana, surely a legitimate corporate entity would step in to service the huge demand from Canadians and day-tripping (so to speak) Americans. However, criminals would continue to infest the smuggling racket, probably with the same violent results.

  9. The bust of a marijuana operation was more than likely not the cause of the killing of these RCMP officers. The killer was a noted police hater, making continuous threats to officers, and should have been jailed previous to this attack. It is a flawed justice stystem that allowed the attack, and a sociopathic hatred that caused it, not marjiuana laws.

  10. While I share the viewpoint of others that marijuana was not the cause of these unfortunate deaths, it nevertheless was a contributing factor.
    To suggest that this type of activity (marijuana grow Ops) be legalized is ludicrous. Drug operations are overseen by a very tight, intelligent group of well organized and funded gangs (i.e. OMG’s).

    This individual who committed these crimes had a passionate hatred for law enforcement and exercised it whenever possible (shouting obscenities at officers on downtown streets). He also had a notable criminal record and veteran officers have said that it was never a matter of if, but when he would ‘explode’.

    My thoughts on this issue are that Canadian Criminal Law needs to change; crime has evolved, value/ moral codes have deteriorated and yet our laws have not maintained stride. There was a time when citizens would never consider killing a police officer and yet we are seeing more of it today. We need to enact more aggressive laws that favour the greater good of the group and not the individual (such as the American justice system).

    I feel quite confident that if this individual had have been dealt with early on that we would not have seen this situation escalate to where it did. When people behave like this and become bold enough to challenge law enforcement officers in an aggressive manner they need to be handled and controlled. I will leave the definition of these words to the courts.

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