Killer Weed by Susan C Boyd and Connie I Carter provided great insight into Canada and their war on the marijuana business. This was not just about any marijuana business however, this book focused on British Columbia a.k.a the war on “BC Bud” and the grow operations. These grow ops were thought to supplement not just Canada, but the entire US nation filtering through Washington. Killer Weed broke down the facts and provided key examples as to how the media portrayed the industry versus the actual statistics. The amount of energy put into busting grow ops, especially those within racialized communities, is quite astonishing.
Where American government tends to racialize black and brown people in the war on drugs, Canada, to my surprise, racialized the Asian community above all others, specifically, Chinese and Vietnamese. Vancouver BC was portrayed and classified as the main hub for heroin dens and marijuana grow ops that filtered into the US. Washington State has stated their position by being very outspoken on the fact that the USA is being overrun by Canada’s drugs and forever claiming that “Canada, Mexico and South America has always been seen by the U.S. government as a threat.”
With pressure coming from the big bad U.S. to get their expansive drug runs under control, Canada’s law enforcement, the Mounties or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), began to switch gears and not bust your everyday average Joe marijuana user but start laying the law on the “major” grow ops that now “consumed” Canada. This was considered a $1-8 billion business. As pointed out by authors Boyd and Carter, the projected value of the market in itself is a large dollar amount with a very wide range. Carter also states that their projected numbers on the underground marijuana businesses are extremely unreliable, almost as if they are so unaware of the actual numbers and statistics that make up their War on Drugs.
Throughout the book, you start to get the feeling as though the media and the Mounties worked together in an effort to spread fear. Citing examples on how just about every news station was only reporting on a wild marijuana bust that of course involved a person of Asian descent terrorizing an all-white community with their drug/trap house in white suburbia, or how someone was robbed at gunpoint and later was busted in the act of using the money they stole to buy pounds of marijuana for mass distribution.
One point made that I found very interesting was that Parliament would have many motions brought to the floor to increase harshness of penalties against people who poses marijuana and are involved in marijuana grow ops (over 80% of these incarcerations were people of Asian descent), but the evidence brought to the floor was in fact false evidence. The statistics ultimately did not support their claims as to why penalties should be increased, this led the bill(s) to be dropped. This fight still goes on to this day. The RCMP has had many claims against them, pointing out that their public relations department “fluffs the news/reports” to cause fear in others, as well as profiling and racializing. Feeding their mission to not regulate but discriminate. Sound familiar?
~ Stoney SPICE ~