Dad of shooting victim wants drug laws changed
The stepfather of a young man who was shot dead in a recent gangland hit is calling for changes to Canada's drug laws. Ken Rafuse made the plea at a gathering of pot activists in Vancouver, Saturday.
"What we need to do is take the $8 billion drug industry down, cripple it so we don't have these gang wars like we have right now, where innocent victims are murdered for no reason at all,'' said Rafuse.
Speaking to CTV News, he said he has never smoked pot, and doesn't even know what it is like to be stoned. But grief is something that he knows a lot about.
That's because his stepson Jonathan Barber was shot to death in February after installing a custom stereo in a vehicle used by the Bacon brothers, key members of the Red Scorpion gang. Police say rival members of the United Nations gang are responsible.
Jonathan Barber was an innocent victim of B.C.s lucrative drug trade, where Marijuana is shipped across the border in exchange for cocaine and guns. The gangs are fighting over control. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"Jonathan did not realize at that time that the UN gang was targeting that group and that vehicle,'' said Insp. Bill Fordy of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team
Rafuse says his stepson would never have been killed if the gangs had no product to fight over.
"You know when you've got $8-billion worth of Marijuana going to the U.S., and another $8-billion coming back in coke, heroin, guns, there's a clear message,'' he said. "It's simple math. It's not going to put it underground, it's going to bring it forward."
Many people who showed up at Saturday's rally in Vancouver are critical of both the provincial and federal government's stance on legalizing marijuana.
Rafuse says he's heard enough lip service from politicians to last a lifetime, a lifetime that for Jonathan was far too short.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Rob McKee