Pubdate: Fri, 13 Feb 2009
Source: Abbotsford Times (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 The Abbotsford Times
Author: Karen Durant


Editor; The Times:

In the 1920s and early '30s, Chicago had Al Capone. Today the Lower
Mainland has the Bacon brothers, only because they are in the news.

But their want to be assassins are somehow invisible. Alcohol
prohibition or the "noble experiment" as it was called, was undertaken
to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax
burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and
hygiene in America. It was a miserable failure on all counts.

Doesn't it sound familiar? Have we not learned from our

I find it ironic that MP Ed Fast will be Chairman of the federal
government's Justice and Human Rights Committee and the first thing he
wants to bring back is the draconian legislation of Bill C-26.

This bill alters the current drug laws raising the maximum penalty for
certain offences and introducing mandatory minimum sentences for
others. This is destructive legislation, which will criminalize
ordinary people and ruin lives at the expense of the taxpayer.

Mandatory minimums are a favourite of U.S. law, but have never been
attempted for drug laws in Canada.

Jails in the U.S. are inundated with people on minimum sentences. Many
judges are against mandatory minimums because it strips power away
from the judge to decide a fair sentence or outcome.

The power is put in the hands of the politicians hundreds of
kilometres away who have no idea of the situation of the crime. You
can go to jail for six months for growing one pot plant for your own

Marijuana prohibition has been studied repeatedly by the Canadian
government. In 1972, the Le Dain Commission recommended reforming our
laws and decriminalizing. Thirty years later, in 2002 the Senate
concluded after two years of study and hundreds of witnesses, that we
should end prohibition entirely and replace it with a regulated and
taxed marketplace.

The Senate committee said unanimously that marijuana prohibition was
more harmful to Canadians than the use of marijuana. Why are our tax
dollars spent on studies that are not listened to?

The Fraser Institute studied marijuana prohibition and concluded that
it was a "gift of revenue" to organized crime. Criminals are making
billions of dollars tax free. That is a gift at our expense.

Please say no to Bill C-26 and yes to taxing and regulating

Karen Durant

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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin