Monday, October 17, 2011

New mandaTory minimum sense on marijuana

Dan Gardner blasts the Cons' proposed 'war on drugs' mandatory minimum sentences for growing pot :
  • Six months mandatory jail time for growing six pot plants.
  • Nine months mandatory jail time for passing a joint from one plant grown in the privacy of your own home if you are a renter.

I assume this represents the Cons' attempt to 'harmonize' Canadian policy within the security perimeter deal, or as US AG Eric Holder put it in his "Beyond the Border" speech : the need for "certain sentencing laws" to be "updated".
This, even as more than a dozen US states are currently repealing mandatory minimum sentences.and reducing sentences.

Besides, notes Gardner, they don't even deliver what they promise :
"The standard argument in favour of mandatory minimum sentences is that they deliver certainty. ... 
But mandatory minimums don't actually do away with discretion.
They merely transfer it from judges, by restricting their ability to choose the sentence, to prosecutors, who choose the charge. The system is still ambiguous, uncertain, and unpredictable. It's just ambiguous, uncertain, and unpredictable in a different way."
From the discretion of judges to the better nature of prosecutors. 
What could possibly go wrong?
h/t Pogge
Update :  Terry Milewski, CBC : Texas Conservatives reject Harper's crime plan
'Been there; done that; didn't work,' say Texas crime-fighters



West End Bob said...


snicker . . . .;-)

Anonymous said...

A victimless crime. Yeesh. What are the provinces saying, why aren't they fighting this since the costs will be downloaded onto them. And where are the prison guards, they should be screaming about it. BTW, 6 plants have the ability to produce 10 pounds, done properly.

Danneau said...

Interesting that the Globe and Mail, that bastion of pinko thought, published a column advocation the legalization of drugs, precisely because the columnist deems the war on drugs unwinable. Certainly, the cost of these measures is all out of proportion to the benefit they will provide to society, but that doesn't matter much if your goal is to provide housing for all manner of dissidents and to funnel money to the prison-industrial complex by overloading and breaking the current system. Yet another bit of extremely nasty business from a group of extremely nasty people.

Zorpheous said...

Hmmm, does mean that Harpo and his roving clown show will be asking for manadTory sentences for people who brew their own home brew or wine?

Six months for a six pack?

sunsin said...

To introduce another American note that Harpy will probably not like quite as much, is there any chance that juries will rebel and simply refuse to convict on the new laws despite the evidence? It's called jury nullification down south. It would seem to be rather hard to find twelve, or even six, people who all thought someone growing a pot plant should be sent to jail for such a long time.

Alison said...

Sunsin : An interesting point.
And as it is, cops already often look the other way when confronted with someone smoking a joint and they may be even more likely to do so under C-10 - which would mean that the Cons war on drugs measures could ultimately result in fewer dope busts, not more.

Blog Archive