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LEAP gives some valuable advice to Canada

… but Harper won’t listen.

U.S. law panel urges Harper to avoid ‘costly failure’ of mandatory minimum pot punishments

A high-profile group of current and former U.S. law enforcement officials has sent a letter to the Harper government with a surprising message: Take it from us, the war on drugs has been a “costly failure.”

The officials are urging the Canadian government to reconsider mandatory minimum sentences for “minor” marijuana offences under its “tough-on-crime bill” and said a better approach would be to legalize marijuana under a policy of taxation and regulation.

“We are … extremely concerned that Canada is implementing mandatory minimum sentencing legislation for minor marijuana-related offences similar to those that have been such costly failures in the United States,” the letter reads. “These policies have bankrupted state budgets as limited tax dollars pay to imprison non-violent drug offenders at record rates instead of programs that can actually improve community safety.”

Something about this drug war – in the decades that it’s been waged, politicians have been completely uninterested in learning from the past.

But the Harper government remains unswayed.

In a statement Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the government has “no intention to decriminalize or legalize marijuana” and “remains committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions.”

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20 comments to LEAP gives some valuable advice to Canada

  • claygooding

    Canada must still be apologizing for being Mexico during the alcohol prohibition.

    It’s the only reason I can think of that they would want to throw a trillion dollars away and have drug agencies whose budgets grow yearly with the only results being more drugs,more prisons and more broken homes.

  • darkcycle

    How much longer are they stuck with Harper?

  • Peter

    “criminals are held fully accountable for their actions”
    how that just rolls of his tongue. does anyone have details of the minimums proposed for these “criminals”

    • Nunavut Tripper

      Peter, here is a brief summary of Bill S-10

      Sentences for Growing Pot under Bill S-10

      • Six months to 14 years if the number of plants is between 5 and 200.

      • Nine months to 14 years for 5 to 200 plants, grown for the purpose of trafficking.

      • One to 14 years for 200 to 500 plants.

      • Eighteen months to 14 years for 200 to 500 plants, grown for the purpose of trafficking.

      • Two to 14 years for 500 or more plants.

      • Three to 14 years if for 500 or more plants, grown for the purpose of trafficking.

      Also the sentence for making tincture is 18 months ( GW Pharma is exempt ) LOL

      Also there are increased penalties for growing near a school but they don’t define what ” near ” means. Fifty metres or five kilometres ? We all live near a school by that definition.
      What pisses you off is that these laws are made by people with no knowledge of cannabis. Although politicians often lie I do believe Harper when he says he’s never smoked a joint…he’s such a conservative tightass.
      I don’t drink alcohol but I have in the past so although I’m not an expert I do have some knowledge of it’s effects.

  • Peter

    This is from Justice Minister Nicholson’s Wikipedia entry:

    Crime Statistics which track crime shows a continuous drop in all crimes including Violent crimes.[Despite this] Nicholson is quoted as saying “We’re not governing on the basis of the latest statistics… We’re governing on the basis of what’s right to better protect victims and law-abiding Canadians” effectively dismissing factual evidence of crime rates. This government tactic of moving forward on tough on crime legislation regardless of statistical evidence, is considered by some to be pandering to the core conservative voters rather than in the best interests of all Canadians……
    The Minister’s stance appears to be in direct conflict with the Bar Association who have denounced his position as creating inaccessible courts and criminal justice measures that threaten to pack prisons…

    [One positive potential outcome in this however]:

    It creates a perverse incentives for the Crown to reduce charges to avoid inappropriate mandatory minimums, or for juries to acquit the guilty, in effect the ultimate safety valve outside of the governments control.

  • Dew-Bee

    The cost of enforcement will fall on the provinces. Ontario and Quebec are the only provinces which are not policed by RCMP. We can only hope that the leaders in these provinces direct their forces to make it lowest priority. Not holding my breath though.

    • claygooding

      Does Canada have jury nullification?

      It may be what it takes for the US govt to address the subject and probably only if it is a high profile federal case when it happens.

      • Dew-Bee

        According to Wiki jury nullification does occur in Canada, it’s just rare. If ever given the chance it will be my choice and I will encourage others also.

  • Peter

    British papers are supplying more information about the arrest of mp eric joyce following a fight in a bar within the house of commons. MPs had been “entertaining” i.e. getting drunk with a delegation from the canadian parliament, including the canadian speaker. i wonder how many of the drinkers were members of the canadian conservative party and had voted for mandatory minimums for using drugs other than alcohol to get buzzed… (clue: Speaker Andrew Scheer for one)

    • DUI_ArmyMajor

      Only could find this:

      “He approached a group of Tory MPs who were having a quiet drink. He was very, very drunk and it was difficult to understand what he was saying. An MP came back to the table and told Eric he was sitting in his seat. That’s when he flipped. He grabbed one MP by the throat, and pushed another really hard up against a wall. Some of his fellow Labour MPs tried to intervene and one of them got punched on the chin. Eric was eventually restrained by the police, but he struggled free and that’s when he head-butted Stuart Andrew.”

      Police had to wait until noon the next day for him to sober up so he could be questioned.

      http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/4150279/Fight-said-red.html

      Friends of Joyce, who served in Bosnia during his Army career, said he had been under stress since his marriage broke down.

      He had to quit as a shadow Northern Ireland minister in 2010 after refusing to take a breath test. He lost his licence for a year and was fined £400

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .

    Is that the reason Homer nodded?

    “No; on the contrary, the effect is not to make people nod; it is exceedingly stimulating. It is probably the reason why there was an attack on Troy.”

  • TheLaughingMan

    Stephen Harper, Rob Nicholson, John Baird and Vic Toews, along with the rest of the Conservatives are liars, cheats and thieves. They are fascists and would turn our country into an Orwellian nightmare! Canada needs to rise up and occupy the parliament, remove the Conservatives from power, followed by some good old fashion tarring and feathering, finish with banishing from Canada! Finally Canadians need some laws that allow us to force referendums on the government and punish corrupt politicians who think they can screw with their people, their employers, you and me!

    People shouldn’t fear the government, the government should fear the people!

  • Nunavut Tripper

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQhA5T5GqrI

    A funny but chilling spoof on the inner workings of our beloved leaders.