Volume 95, Issue 32

Tuesday, October 30, 2001
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'Oh my god - he's whacking off'

Protesters say goodbye to Mike

Who'll cry for Peter Pumpkinhead?

The coppers are hogging all the sweet weed!

Critics care little for zero tolerance

New BRAIN program targets the noggin

Car thieves on the loose at UWO

The world at war

The coppers are hogging all the sweet weed!

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

High times could become increasingly hard to find for several big-time London marijuana dealers, as police continue to seize millions of dollars worth of illegal pot.

With $3 million of the 'good stuff' already claimed this year, police have captured an unprecedented amount of marijuana in the London area. This year's total already exceeds last year's $2 million total.

Police have had numerous busts, highlighted by the seizure of $731,000 worth of marijuana (107 pounds) at a Briarhill Avenue residence two weeks ago.

Many members of London's drug community agree police seizures are having an affect on the drug trade within the city, but with huge amounts of the drug still available, the industry is far from being in danger.

"Yes, it seems the police are having more success, but there are still copious amounts out there right now," said Chris Lake, manager of the Organic Traveller.

Lake said harvest season is from late August to early November and the dope supply won't see a decline until Christmas, despite the busts.

However, he did say police intervention can have an affect on the supply of weed and consequently its price, ranging anywhere from $20 to $45 for an eighth-ounce.

"A lot of fear is created when those higher in the ranks – the wholesalers – start getting caught," said an active small-scale marijuana dealer, who did not want his name released. "There's always the fear they may start naming the names of who they sell to."

The dealer said big busts can have an effect on the family-tree structure of drug dealers, but eventually everything goes back to normal.

"One or two people will drop out, but these busts aren't going to stop the use or selling of weed," he said. "It just forces us to change."

Const. Ryan Holland of the London Police Force credited the improved work of the force's drug unit for the recent success.

"We're producing much higher quality of investigations that are producing larger increases of seizures," Holland said, adding this year, investigators have been vigilant in following-up leads, many of which come from Crime Stoppers.

However, the marijuana dealer who spoke with The Gazette thinks their accomplishments may be overstated.

"I find it funny how they publicize these busts as if they're winning the war on drugs," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001