Pubdate: Fri, 09 Dec 2005
Source: Ancaster News (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005 Brabant Newspapers
Author: Chris Goodwin


The City of Hamilton's vision for a safer drug-free Canada is an
expensive platform that only leads to more crime, more addiction and
more drugs.

The City's public health and justice platform will ensure that crystal
meth, crack, heroin and marijuana continue to be plentiful, cheap and
easily available to children in Hamilton. Only through a system of
legal regulation will our society begin to cope with the complex
addiction crisis Canada currently faces.

Though the propaganda is not new, by continuing the aggressive stance
against marijuana use in the community, the city will surely spend
more to accomplish much less. They want communities to begin debating
where to build their next prison, not make Hamilton safer.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health supports the call to lessen
criminal sanctions for cannabis and holds the position that the
criminal justice system in general, and the Controlled Drugs and
Substances Act specifically, under which cannabis possession is a
criminal offense, has become an inappropriate control mechanism.

CAMH thus concurs with similar recent calls from many other expert
stakeholders who believe that the control of cannabis possession for
personal use should be removed from the realm of the act and the
criminal law/criminal justice system.

We have a problem, yet city officials will never speak of the CAMH's
position on the merits of removing cannabis from the Criminal Code.

Chris Goodwin

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