Friday, June 05, 2009

The Cons new tough-on-window-dressing-crime bill

Bill C-15, an amendment to the Controlled Drugs [and Uncontrolled Growth of the Prison Industry] Act, guarantees, among other travesties, automatic jail time for people who grow and sell five marijuana plants.
Believe it or not, this is an improvement over what the Cons originally proposed - jail time for just one plant -until the Bloc and NDP managed to leverage it up to five plants in the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, where 13 0f the 16 expert witnesses called spoke against the new bill.

There's a lot of old US War on Drugs bullshit here, endorsed by the Libs and Cons just as the US begins to repudiate it.

From today's Hansard, HoC :

"California, New York, Michigan, Delaware, Massachusetts are all repealing their mandatory minimum sentences with other states considering the same.

Counsel to the United States House of Representatives committee on the judiciary, Eric Sterling, stated emphatically his decision to promote mandatory minimum sentences in the United States was probably "the greatest mistake of my entire career over 30 years in the practice of law".

What the Americans found was that the goal of the legislation to reduce drug use failed. The goal of safety in the communities failed. The goal of raising the prices of drugs and lowering the purity failed. The goal of reducing organized crime failed."

Yesterday in the HoC, Keith Martin, Lib, asked why we can't "decriminalize simple possession, for example, of marijuana and allow people to have a couple of plants"?

Indeed. People receiving sentences of two years less a day will wind up in the already overcrowded provincial prisons. What to do? What to do?

The Canadian Bar Association, as quoted in the HoC :

"We believe the Bill would not be effective, would be very costly, would add to strains on the administration of justice, could create unjust and disproportionate sentences and ultimately would not achieve its intended goal of greater public safety."
Libs will have to suck it up hard to vote for this one on Monday, as they party with the Cons like it's 1969. The NDP and Bloc will vote against it.

Scott has a round-up of the Liberal blogger revolt against it; Jennifer at Runesmith is organizing an email campaign. Go, you Liberal bloggers!

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