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Canadian raid resulting in four RCMP deaths a warrant for bolstering the Drug War?

March 10, 2005

A group of Royal Canadian Mounted Police who were acting in response to a dispute over the outstanding debts of one James Roszko were gunned down by Roszko in what the constables' superior described as an ambush. Now Jane's Information Group is running the story [sorry, subscription only] on their website as evidence of the escalating violence related to the Canadian marijuana trade, and presumably of a need for more Drug War efforts. This is a convenient interpretation for Jane's, since their primary customer base is composed of government agencies who are always looking for more excuses to bilk the taxpayers.

What Jane's fails to recognize is that the marijuana operation was relatively small, and that Roszko had a history of violent behavior in situations both drug- and non-drug-related. What this story really demonstrates is the danger of the prohibition laws that effectively funnel money to individuals, such as Roszko, who are more apt to engage in risky behaviors. Given the attitudes of those close to Roszko, as reported here by the Edmonton Sun, it seems unlikely that his erratic, violent behavior would have inspired much trust in legal business dealings. Nonetheless, the on-again, off-again drug enforcement policies of the Canadian government seem to have played at least some role in his acquisition of otherwise cost-prohibitive weapons and fortifications for his property, by creating an environment where just such an ostracized individual might accumulate wealth through dabbling in gardening.

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