Colby Cosh has a variety of good blog posts and comments up about the media's fixation on the marijuana element of the tragic deaths of four Mounties last week.
But Vancouver potheads-cum-theatre-lovers need not worry about a new Marijuana McCarthyism descending on West Coast theatres... Actor Russell Bennett will go ahead with his play The Reefer Man later this month as scheduled despite the RCMP officers' deaths. I know this because a press release titled "The Show Must Go On" just dropped like it was hot in my inbox:
Russell Bennett, the creator of the hit show The Reefer Man still plans to go ahead with his March production at the Firehall Arts Centre in the face of recent RCMP slayings involving a grow-op bust.Way to use murder and mayhem to promote your show, dude! The gals of Chicago would be proud...
Bennett, also a lawyer, portrays all twenty-one characters in this intelligent comedy that begins with the discovery of Charlie Kovac’s secret basement marijuana garden. The play looks at grow-ops from the point of view of a responsible citizen who grows flowers for the love of it, providing a service to his fellow Canadians. Charlie also examines the history and ineffectiveness of the marijuana prohibition in Canada. Although there is an arrest in this production, it is not meant to minimize the dangers that RCMP officers face or the sacrifices they make for Canadians every day.
"Now more than ever, it is essential to go ahead with this show," says Bennett. "It is tragic that these officers needlessly lost their lives. However, I don’t agree with how the media and government officials are demonizing marijuana grow-operations. In this recent case, the killer was a known dangerous offender. Growing pot is not dangerous. It is the enforcement of a needless prohibition that makes growing pot dangerous. I think that The Reefer Man will inspire people to see that not all marijuana growers are involved with organized crime and intent on protecting their property through aggressive means. I want the violence to end, and the only way for that to happen is to open an intelligent dialogue about the issues. I hope my play will stimulate such a dialogue, so that no more innocent lives are taken from us."