Monday, March 2, 2009

Moving our drugs laws back 30 years

I thought it was interesting that on the same week that the CBC reported, about the conservatives reintroducing their legislation aimed at drug traffickers and organized crime by proposing mandatory jail sentences for serious drug offences.

The NY Times reported that there is an aggressive effort under way in New york State to finally dismantle what remains of the stringent 1970s-era drug laws, which imposed stiff mandatory sentences as a way to combat the heroin epidemic then gripping New York City. The governor will be introducing laws, reinstating the judges discretion in sentencing,

As the Canadian crime rate continues to decline, with 2006 the latest year for which there is statistics, being the lowest crime rate in twenty-five years, the conservatives are also proposing to double the maximum sentences from 7 to 14 years for serious offences including possession of Class II drugs such as marijuana.

The conservatives are basically moving us back to the early days of the US war on drugs, which has since filled their prisons and given them the largest prison population in the world. Today one in every thirty one American adults, is in jail, on probation or on parole.

As the mainstream media continues to sensationalize each act of violence to pump up their ratings and scare the hell out of suburbia, the opposition parties are afraid to look like they are not tough on crime. Somebody had better start doing their job here, checking the numbers and questioning the logic or there is going to be a lot of us in jail.

In Canada and for the purposes of this proposed legislation, a criminal organization as defined in section 467.1(1) of the Canadian Criminal Code as a group of three or more people whose purpose is to commit serious offences for material benefit.

Note to the wise, two is a party three is hard time.


1 comment:

BlastFurnace said...

One has to wonder if an attempt to bring our drug policy closer to that of the failed US approach, is part of the move towards having a fully open border with the Americans. You can't very well have the arrangement that exists in Europe, if there isn't fairly similar approaches to fighting organized crime. I think there'd be a lot to gain by having open borders -- but not at this price.