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Macgregor weed bust

By johnboy - 13 January 2012 61

Detectives from ACT Policing Criminal Investigations and AFP Serious and Organised Crime arrested a 29-year-old Latham man after executing search warrants on two houses yesterday (Thursday, January 12).

Police attended two addresses in Latham and Macgregor, seizing approximately 11 kilograms of a substance alleged to be cannabis and approximately $80,000 in cash.

The man was taken to the ACT Watch House and charged with traffic a trafficable quantity of cannabis, possessing proceeds of crime and possessing a drug of dependence.

He is expected to face the ACT Magistrates Court today where bail will be opposed.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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61 Responses to
Macgregor weed bust
reality_check 6:49 pm 16 Jan 12

LSWCHP said :

I’m with Jethro on this. That was very well written.

I tried dope when I was young, and didn’t like it much. It was expensive, and I didn’t like giving money to the slimy scumbags who supplied it. I also didn’t like the fear of apprehension associated with owning and using the stuff.

Prohibition of marijuana simply results in bad people accumulating money and influence to the great detriment of our society.

Because clearly if dope was legal, said “bad people” would stop dealing drugs and become model citizens… Maybe they should dabble in a bit of meth or heroin to boost their sales?

reality_check 6:45 pm 16 Jan 12

Jethro said :

I see this as more evidence that the sale and consumption of cannabis should be legalised and regulated.

Clearly prohibition doesn’t stop the sale and consumption of a drug that something like 20% of the population regularly uses. All it does is puts the sale of it in the hands of criminals in the suburbs where it doesn’t belong. I would rather a well regulated business in Fyshwick or Mitchell was selling it, instead of some suburban dope dealer attracting unwanted elements into suburban areas.

So you’re saying it should be legal coz everyone does it – but you don’t want the “unwanted elements” in your suburban area? Isn’t that precisely why it’s not legal? Because of the issues it brings with it? Go smoke another joint…

fgzk 1:24 pm 15 Jan 12

LSWCHP said :

I’m with Jethro on this. That was very well written.

I tried dope when I was young, and didn’t like it much. It was expensive, and I didn’t like giving money to the slimy scumbags who supplied it. I also didn’t like the fear of apprehension associated with owning and using the stuff.

Prohibition of marijuana simply results in bad people accumulating money and influence to the great detriment of our society.

Not to mention the accumulation of gunmen from both sides of the track.

LSWCHP 1:19 pm 15 Jan 12

I’m with Jethro on this. That was very well written.

I tried dope when I was young, and didn’t like it much. It was expensive, and I didn’t like giving money to the slimy scumbags who supplied it. I also didn’t like the fear of apprehension associated with owning and using the stuff.

Prohibition of marijuana simply results in bad people accumulating money and influence to the great detriment of our society.

Jethro 7:28 am 15 Jan 12

*Portugal not Spain

Jethro 9:40 pm 14 Jan 12

@dungfungus

Being a proponent of drug law reform does not make one a drug user. I tried a bit of weed in my university days – it was ok, but not for me; as a man in his thirties juggling kids, a mortgage and part-time work I would have to say that a drug that’s main effect is laziness is not for me. Yet, it is also certainly not something that deserves the current policy of prohibition. As a pragmatic citizen I want laws that lead to the least possible harm to society.

At the end of the day prohibition laws boil down to the idea that cannabis consumption is so harmful (to the user and society) that it must therefore be dealt with by a total ban, even if that ban leads to harmful consequences in itself.

Yet the actual harm caused by cannabis (to the user and society) is fairly low (although certainly not non-existent) – decades of scientific research have proved little more than the fact that long-term cannabis use may help bring forward mental health issues of those predisposed to such things. In terms of harm, the evidence seems to suggest that cannabis falls below alcohol and tobacco, two drugs that we have been smart enough to realise are better off as regulated drugs than illegal drugs.

I would argue that because the harm (to the user and society) caused by cannabis consumption is lower than the harm caused by cannabis prohibition the logical conclusion is to legalise and regulate cannabis, not outlaw it. In other words, the harm caused by cannabis cannot be seen as a justification for the harm caused by prohibition.

As I am unwilling to write a thesis on the subject I will break down the arguments regarding prohibition into a simple for and against list.

Arguments for prohibition:

Prohibition realises that cannabis use is not healthy and aims to dissuade people from using cannabis by making it clear that society disapproves of its use.

Prohibition makes it slightly harder for users to access cannabis.

Arguments against prohibition:

Prohibition has not been proven to reduce cannabis use by any degree – indeed countries where cannabis use is (virtually) legal (such as the Netherlands and Spain) have lower usage rates, whereas Australia has one of the highest usage rates in the world. In countries where cannabis is legal users who have dependence issues are more able to access support services, which are better funded because of the taxation system that brings in tax dollars from cannabis users.

Prohibition empowers organised crime: tens of thousands of people have been killed in Mexico by crime gangs fighting over cannabis distribution routes into America. Cannabis in Australia is a multi-billion dollar industry, yet the only people to see the profits of this industry are organised criminals.

Prohibition means that children have easier access to cannabis than alcohol… it is easier to buy cannabis off a drug dealer operating in the black market than it is to buy alcohol from a bottle shop that must operate within the law.

Prohibition forces cannabis users (who make up about 20% of the population) to deal with organised criminals even though the users are otherwise law abiding people. This is where the ‘gateway drug’ argument falls apart. If cannabis users didn’t have to deal with criminals they would be less likely to be offered more serious drugs such as meth or heroin.

Prohibition means that the type/quality of cannabis on the market is not regulated. Studies have shown that the most harmful type of cannabis is the super-hydro stuff that is sold in the current system (hydro packs more for its punch and is therefore cheaper to transport and more profitable for its size). A regulated market would not have this problem and could in fact reduce the amount of harmful hydro in the market.

Prohibition criminalises 1 in 5 otherwise law-abiding adult Australians, many of whom contribute to society in very real ways – yet a conviction for possession (obviously not in Canberra where we have been smart enough to decriminalise low level possession) is enough to make these people lose their jobs.

Prohibition costs the community multi-million dollars in enforcement and costs the community multi-million dollars in tax revenue from what could be an otherwise well-regulate industry. The tax revenue from cannabis sales could and should be used to fund the cost of cannabis harm (remember that prohibition has done nothing to reduce cannabis harm).

Prohibition forces the production and sale of cannabis into the suburbs – this is the big one. I used to live next door to a drug dealer. People coming and going at all hours. Fights on the street over ‘stolen drugs’. I remember the day I brought my first born kid home the dealer across the street had a carload of people rock up with baseball bats and start a fight. We hid in our bedroom with the doors locked. This wouldn’t have happened without prohibition. It was basically an all round intimidating position to be in. Why should we give the rights to production and distribution to criminals? Prohibition has not stopped the production and sale of cannabis. It has just shifted it to organised criminals who make life really difficult for the rest of us. Regulation makes far more sense.

At the end of the day the use of cannabis is nothing more than a vice. In Australia we have been smart enough to legalise and regulate most vices. Gambling and prostitution are far less harmful than they used to be when they were in the hands of the mafia (although there is clearly room for improving the regulations of these businesses; I would suggest the tobacco model is the best one to follow). Our inability to see past the prejudices regarding cannabis consumption has limited our ability to develop a useful policy regarding this drug.

The alcohol prohibition in America during the 20’s is rightly scoffed at as a failed policy. The prohibition of cannabis will one day be seen as the same. This is because the harm caused by prohibition is far worse than the harm caused by cannabis usage (which the evidence tells us has in no way actually been reduced by prohibition).

And as for your comment about me driving… if you are a regular reader of this site you would know I am one of the biggest proponents of safe roads. I have been driving for more than 15 years. I’ve never been booked for any road offence and doubt I ever will be. My ability to see a seriously flawed policy for what it is does not make me a bad driver.

dungfungus 8:09 pm 14 Jan 12

Jethro said :

I see this as more evidence that the sale and consumption of cannabis should be legalised and regulated.

Clearly prohibition doesn’t stop the sale and consumption of a drug that something like 20% of the population regularly uses. All it does is puts the sale of it in the hands of criminals in the suburbs where it doesn’t belong. I would rather a well regulated business in Fyshwick or Mitchell was selling it, instead of some suburban dope dealer attracting unwanted elements into suburban areas.

It worries me that people like Jetrhro walk amongst us. It terrifies me that they also drive.

dungfungus 8:08 pm 14 Jan 12

devils_advocate said :

Martlark said :

Dilandach said :

…buying flash cars and big TVs with little to no explanation of how they can afford it on the dole?

When was the last time any retail business asked you how you earned all the cash you just plonked down? You think they’ll report dole bludgers each time they cash splurge?

I *think* what was being referred to is the neighbours etc becoming suspicious of the flash car, other lifestyle accoutrements that have no sensible explanation. If nieghbours who didn’t like that element in their street, or were simply jealous, reported that to the cops, then conspicuous consumption combined with some other evidence it might be enough to raid.

Also I think it’s fair to assume that not all individuals involved in illicit drug trade are geniusii who have the abstract thinking skills to forsee future consequences based on current actions.

Nothing flash about a white Commodore.

PBO 7:15 pm 14 Jan 12

Duffbowl said :

Depositing it in a bank is dodge, as financial institutions do track and report unusual transactions. So that might be one way to get it noticed.
.

Not if you are clever enough to have yourself registered as a sex worker , you can then say that the money being deposited is sexy money from sexing people who pay for sex and not dirty money from drugs. + how many sex workers give receipts to their tax agent?

devils_advocate 11:07 am 13 Jan 12

Martlark said :

Dilandach said :

…buying flash cars and big TVs with little to no explanation of how they can afford it on the dole?

When was the last time any retail business asked you how you earned all the cash you just plonked down? You think they’ll report dole bludgers each time they cash splurge?

I *think* what was being referred to is the neighbours etc becoming suspicious of the flash car, other lifestyle accoutrements that have no sensible explanation. If nieghbours who didn’t like that element in their street, or were simply jealous, reported that to the cops, then conspicuous consumption combined with some other evidence it might be enough to raid.

Also I think it’s fair to assume that not all individuals involved in illicit drug trade are geniusii who have the abstract thinking skills to forsee future consequences based on current actions.

Duffbowl 11:07 am 13 Jan 12

Dilandach said :

I’ve often wondered, do these relatively small time dealers/suppliers spend their money wisely and under the radar or do they generally do the stupid thing of slapping down deposits for houses, buying flash cars and big TVs with little to no explanation of how they can afford it on the dole?

Agree with Martlark on this; not too many salespeople are going to care where you got the money from, as long as you have the money.

Depositing it in a bank is dodge, as financial institutions do track and report unusual transactions. So that might be one way to get it noticed.

If anyone was to notice a bit of extravagance, it would be a neighbour. Do they report it? Well, that depends on the care and responsibility. I’d suggest that in Canberra, the neighbours might care, but won’t want to get too involved.

Martlark 10:49 am 13 Jan 12

Dilandach said :

…buying flash cars and big TVs with little to no explanation of how they can afford it on the dole?

When was the last time any retail business asked you how you earned all the cash you just plonked down? You think they’ll report dole bludgers each time they cash splurge?

Jethro 10:48 am 13 Jan 12

I see this as more evidence that the sale and consumption of cannabis should be legalised and regulated.

Clearly prohibition doesn’t stop the sale and consumption of a drug that something like 20% of the population regularly uses. All it does is puts the sale of it in the hands of criminals in the suburbs where it doesn’t belong. I would rather a well regulated business in Fyshwick or Mitchell was selling it, instead of some suburban dope dealer attracting unwanted elements into suburban areas.

Chop71 10:42 am 13 Jan 12

80k cash … noice

Dilandach 10:19 am 13 Jan 12

I’ve often wondered, do these relatively small time dealers/suppliers spend their money wisely and under the radar or do they generally do the stupid thing of slapping down deposits for houses, buying flash cars and big TVs with little to no explanation of how they can afford it on the dole?

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