As you’ve probably heard by now, four RCMP officers were slain yesterday while monitoring a marijuana grow operation northwest of Edmonton:
At approximately 10 a.m. MT, a shootout broke out between police and a male suspect at a farmhouse in Rochfort Bridge near the community of Mayerthorpe, about 130 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes said the four officers were at a Quonset shed on the farm when they were shot by the suspect, whose body was also found in the shed.
This is a rare tragedy in Canada–I can’t remember the last time I heard of a police officer being killed while on duty.
I fear that the political response to this incident will be to increase jail terms and fines for grow op owners. Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan called them a ‘plague’ on our society. I think they’re more parasitical, but hightened penalties (as has been demonstrated on so many occasions) aren’t the answer. Legalize pot, regulate it and tax the hell out of it. That would be one assurance that this tragedy won’t be repeated.
BlogsCanada has a good round-up of comments on this incident.