Predictably, drug warriors are citing last week's killing of four Mounties investigating a marijuana growing operation in Alberta as an argument for more-aggressive drug law enforcement. Forgive me for stating what should be obvious: Those officers were not killed because Canada is soft on pot. They were killed because of prohibition, a U.S. export far more pernicious than Canada's B.C. bud. Even Bill Bennett, George H.W. Bush's drug czar, conceded that cracking down on drug traffickers can be expected to generate more black market violence. Far from encouraging Canadians to follow the U.S. model, the shootings reaffirm the wisdom of a more peaceful and tolerant approach.
Update: As Steve in Clearwater notes in the comments section, it turns out the officers discovered the marijuana (about 20 plants) only incidentally, after going to the property to repossess a pickup truck from man with a long criminal history, including a conviction for child rape. Writing in today's National Post, Colby Cosh compares the official version of the shootout to the mundane reality, concluding that the politicians making prohibitionist hay from the incident "are engaging in a calculated distraction that presents them as part of a thin line standing between us and an enormous, inchoate, 'organized' evil."