Mathematics of police cannabis find

THE EDITOR: It seems that mathematics is all the rage these days. Recently, we learnt from the Guyana Court of Appeal that an “absolute majority” (they coined the term) of five is four, not three. Now we hear that about 20 police officers raided a home with a warrant “to search for guns and ammunition” and found exactly 4.1 grams of cannabis. (You think if we send them to drill for water they will find oil?) That works out to just about five officers per gram. Is that value for money or effort?

I’ve noticed a trend where the police declare contraband finds in terms of grams, not ounces or pounds. Perhaps it’s their great desire to go metric but I suspect it’s more about their intention to make minuscule finds appear more than they really are.

If you put 4.1 grams on an ordinary scale, the needle wouldn’t budge. Not too impressive. Maybe they should start using milligrams and the find could be reported as 4,100 milligrams. Much more impressive but the needle still wouldn’t budge.

How much is a gram? (All figures are approximate.) There are 454 grams in one pound. With 16 ounces in a pound, that works out to 28.35 grams per ounce. So 4.1 grams is roughly one-seventh of an ounce.

Here’s a good SEA question. If it takes 20 police officers to “arrest” one-seventh of an ounce of cannabis, how many are required to arrest one pound? Answer: 2,240. That’s a ton of officers.

More reason why we should hurry up and legalise cannabis. Imagine the thousands of officers who’d now be available to fight real crime instead of searching for a few grams of weed.

PS: For those who missed it, 2,240 pounds = 1 ton.

NOEL KALICHARAN via e-mail

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"Mathematics of police cannabis find"

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