MONTREAL, Sept. 20, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - NORML Canada (National
Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) speaks out against the
conservative Government's omnibus crime bill, to be introduced this
Tuesday, September 20th, that is expected to include mandatory minimum
sentences for minor marijuana offences; as few as six plants could
carry a minimum of 6 months in jail.
NORML Canada has always advocated that tougher sentences are not the
solution to the violence associated with the drug trade, they are the
source. The endless demand creates a need for supply, and stiffer
penalties favour the harder criminal element, who remain undeterred,
and who have no qualms of resorting to violence to protect the obscene
profits that prohibition creates.
Mandatory minimum sentences will put the public at further risk, forcing
otherwise non violent, law abiding cannabis users to interact with the
most unsavory criminal element.
The government has also not explained the costs of implementing
mandatory minimum sentencing. These changes will cost taxpayers untold
billions, the majority of these costs being borne by the provinces.
In the USA, several states have already abandoned this policy. After
crumbling under the financial weight of this failed approach,
California has started releasing low-level offenders they can no longer
afford to keep locked up.
Why is Canada going backwards now, ignoring all the evidence that has
shown stiffer sentences do nothing to reduce the use of drugs?
NORML Canada sincerely urges our prime minister to reconsider this
flawed approach and remove mandatory minimum sentences for all cannabis
offences. We also look forward to sharing our expertise in this area
with the appropriate committees once their work gets under way.
SOURCE NORML CANADA
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