… but Harper won’t listen.
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 â€œcostly failure.â€
The officials are urging the Canadian government to reconsider mandatory minimum sentences for â€œminorâ€ marijuana offences under its â€œtough-on-crime billâ€ and said a better approach would be to legalize marijuana under a policy of taxation and regulation.
â€œWe are â€¦ 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,â€ the letter reads. â€œThese 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.â€
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 â€œno intention to decriminalize or legalize marijuanaâ€ and â€œremains committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions.â€