Because of the stellar work of VicPD, you probably think there are no gangs in Victoria. If that is the case, you could not be more wrong. In reality, there are at least four street gangs and two motorcycle gangs. And as sure as God made little green apples, gang wars are assured by Victoria pot shops.
This is not just alarmist talk. Gang wars will happen because of pot shops. The only question is, “How badly will they hurt Victoria?“
Here is the reality of gangs in Victoria from two extremely credible sources [Read the block quotes carefully].
Lindsey Houghton, media relations officer for the CFSEU said in an interview [Excerpted from martlett.ca],
According to Houghton, Victoria provides an extensive customer base for drugs, which is the main commodity for gangs. Geographically, the island is ideal for drug transportation, as small watercraft are used to export and import drugs between Vancouver Island and the U.S.
Houghton compared a budding gang to the planting of a seed. A plant needs soil as new gangsters need existing gangs. Houghton explained that the mainland gang called Red Scorpions sends individuals into Greater Victoria to recruit new gang members using fear, influence, and intimidation.
Houghton strongly suggests dropping preconceived ideas about gangsters, and advises people to open their minds to the unexpected. “In British Columbia, there is no [conclusive gangster] stereotype. It can be any kid, from any ethnic background, from any socioeconomic background. We have this middle class thug syndrome . . . these kids have every opportunity,” Houghton explained.
Mia Golden runs a program called CRED (Crime Reduction Education) through Pacific Centre Family Services Association in Victoria. She is the city’s only gang counselor [Excerpted from martlett.ca]
Golden has now worked as a youth gang counselor in Victoria for three years. She works alongside police, probation officers, parents, and schools to spread education and engage in prevention practices. She founded CRED and offers the program to youth between ages 13 and 24 who are at-risk or affiliated with gangs. Police and schools usually refer individuals to Golden. But some kids specifically seek her involvement in their journey toward health.
She regularly walks the beat to connect with Victoria’s youth. Thus she experiences the truth behind Victoria’s gang scene. “I know there has been low-level gang members [in Victoria] who have been involved in selling. Hits have been put out on them just for a couple grand. These kids are unknowingly being given knowledge [about dangerous people].”
Golden explains that she knows Victoria youth who constantly travel between Vancouver and the island, transporting drugs for gangs. She believes there is a serious disconnect between community knowledge and gang reality. “When I go into the Bay Centre, when I go by Chapters, I know which kids are dealing. The average person walks by them every day,” she says. Golden stresses the importance of community awareness. She explained that Victoria’s youth gangs are often regarded as harmless. However, one local youth gang was responsible for over two hundred police files in 2013. Committing petty crimes such as breaking and entering and car theft desensitizes the kids involved.
Golden said kids are given thousands of dollars of product, and they jump each other and steal each other’s goods. “Youth gang members are extremely vulnerable to recruitment by high-profile gangs. They are recruited at places like schools, on the streets, and in bars.”
Do you want further proof of criminal involvement in medical pot?
It comes from the Ali Ziaee and Zachary “Ziggy” Matheson drug bust. It was a major drug bust in Langford and supports my assertion pot shop will bring gang wars. Accordingly, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit [Gang Unit] said, “Officers found evidence of a licensed medical-marijuana growing operation at one of the locations.” Folks, the gangs are involved in Victoria’s pot shops.
Now that you are aware of the reality that there are gangs in Victoria, let’s look at those gangs.
Among the gangs who could involve themselves in any gang wars here
Red Scorpions – Again, I have written extensively about this gang and its involvement with fentanyl.
United Nations – This gang is in active gang wars in Surrey, especially with the Red Scorpions.
Independent Soldiers – The Independent Soldiers, or IS, brought together Indo-Canadian gangsters in southeast Vancouver about a decade ago. They were first known as the Sunset Boys, after the Sunset Community Centre where they were active. However, the gang is reported to be more ethnically diverse today. In 2005 IS leader Sukhvinder Singh (Bicky) Dosanjh died in a car accident. This left the gang in disarray. Consequently, after getting out of jail in 2007 Parminder Singh (Peter) Adiwal was able to over. But in 2009 he took 20 bullets in a Burnaby parking lot, but survived. IS member James Riach, 29, was also in the Porsche Cayenne when Red Scorpion member Jonathan Bacon was shot in Kelowna. Though Riach fled. This is a very violent gang. [From: cbc.ca]
Why would gangs want control of pot shops?
According to the CFSEU, ninety-nine percent of the dope sold in BC was imported and/or produced by criminal gangs. That includes pot. These gang members risk their freedom to sell these drugs. Accordingly can you imagine the gold mine for them having a legal outlet for their weed without any worry about being arrested?
Commonsense should tell you something. Even if a legitimate businessperson licenses and opens a pot shop, it will soon be owned and operated by a gang.
Think about it for a moment. What is the owner supposed to do when a street gang or a biker gang demands he sells his business? Refuse and put his life and his family at risk? There is no way to stop this happening.
Gangs flock toward vice the way flies flock toward stink.
So, whether you are for or against pot shops in Victoria, gangs will want to control them. To those of you who think I am against medical pot, you are also wrong. I believe pot has medical value when specifically grown with certain qualities. Accordingly, I favor the legalization of pot. I just favor doing so in a manner that protects our safety. We need to ensure the sick get something that helps them and that our pot shops don’t feed the coffers of criminals.
There is a way to make pot available without involving criminals and gangs in growing and distributing it. It can be done without risking gang wars
The sale of pot, medical and recreational should be done through pharmacies and liquor stores, respectively.
These are not the only things pot shops will put at risk though. Most noteworthy pot shops will also put at risk the very future of medical pot. This is the very product Lisa Helps says she is trying to promote.
First of all, pot shops would be under no enforceable law to purchase through licensed medical pot suppliers. Therefore the medicinal quality of the medical pot they would sell would be suspect. Moreover, criminal gangs and unlicensed suppliers will sell you whatever they want. Frankly, they don’t care if the pot actually works for you. They only care if they sell. It’s called greed.
Accordingly, medical marijuana will lose credibility with the medical establishment. Eventually, this means that even fewer people will be able to access it. This is the opposite of what pot advocates seek.
I have four issues with what Lisa Helps is proposing for pot
- I don’t believe the City of Victoria should be authorizing pot sales in advance of federal legislation allowing it. This sends a confusing message to our youth whom we raise telling them to follow the law.
- The manner in which Lisa Helps wants to roll out pot distribution will lead to gang wars.
- These pot shops will consume police resources. Therefore, we will have higher taxes or less protection.
- Finally, pot shops will threaten Victoria’s thriving tourist industry.
Due to current laws, pharmacies and liquor stores cannot legally distribute pot yet.
Right now, the laws governing those two businesses forbid them distributing pot. Additionally, federal banking regulations also forbid them being able to bank money that is the proceeds of pot sales.
That all changes though when pot is legalized by the federal government. At that point, they face no legal barriers. Accordingly, the City of Victoria simply needs to wait for the federal law to change. That is something we have been promised will happen this year. We could be talking a matter months.
Do not allow the agenda to be driven by the vocal minority. They are too impatient. Just like the stoners, Lisa Helps needs to wait.
Lisa Helps was briefed about gangs when she took office. Hence, she should know better.
I do not know the details of that briefing. Although I assure you she was briefed. All incoming mayors are briefed by the VicPD about a variety of details regarding crime and criminal activity. As a result of that briefing, she should know the dangers of pot shops. And she should be aware of the possibility of gang wars. Therefore, she wants pot shops despite the risks. Hence, she is willing to put our children at risk to further her agenda. She can paint as many intersections as she likes, but she should not take the dangerous step of licensing pot shops.
IN CONCLUSION, WE DO NOT NEED LICENSED POT SHOPS. WE NEED TO WAIT!
First, I have proven there are several gangs already in Victoria.
Secondly, I have proven that those gangs will want control of licensed pot shops.
Third, I have proven that there is no way to stop gangs from taking over any licensed pot shops.
Therefore, gang wars are assured if Victoria licenses pot shops.
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