As Canada’s media outlets try to make sense of Thursday’s RCMP shooting in rural Alberta, there is a distinct sense among many I’ve talked to that coverage is teetering on the edge of blowing the marijuana grow-op angle out of proportion. True, it is one element of the tragedy, just as gun control and RCMP preparedness are. But in both the Globe and the Post today, the grow-op angle takes a prominent place, despite the fact that the officers who were killed were investigating an auto parts theft case. No drug squad was to be found. Furthermore, the killer, James Roszko, was a known cop-hater and gun enthusiast, shall we say. Has gun control legislation come under the microscope the way marijuana decriminalization has? No.
Toronto-based journalist Bill Doskoch has a post on his blog about a New York Times story linking the shootings almost exclusively to grow operations, with many oversights. It’s that kind of dangerous coverage that could taint any efforts to create sensible policies on marijuana decriminalization.