Pubdate: Wed, 08 Jun 2011
Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Nanaimo Daily News
Author: Kirk Tousaw, Executive Director, Beyond Prohibition 
Foundation Vancouver


Re: 'Proposed crime laws aim for traffickers, not users' (Daily News, June 4)

Letter-writer James Corder is apparently willing to gobble up
government talking points about the proposed crime bills.

He may not be a fan of the "wacky tobaccy" or of letter writer Russell
Barth, but Barth is much more knowledgeable about the impact of
mandatory jail sentences than is Corder.

Virtually every expert who has studied this issue (including those in
Canada's Justice Ministry) conclude that mandatory minimum laws are
utter failures that do more harm than good, prevent nobody from buying
or selling drugs and disproportionately impact street level drug
sellers -- most of whom are also drug users selling only to offset the
high cost of currently illegal drugs. In other words, users not
traffickers "peddling stuff to kids."

Indeed, the mythological pusher in the playground is a boogeyman long
used to justify repressive and dangerous prohibition laws.

In the real world, the people selling drugs to teenagers are other
teenagers. The reason they get into the trade is easy money. Easy
money exists because of prohibition.

Let's be clear: high-level drug dealers and adults that deal drugs to
kids already go to jail in this country and usually for terms far
longer than the proposed mandatory minimums.

These laws are not about targeting those people. They are about
enforcing a failed policy at the expense of the taxpayer and community

Mr. Corder should take a moment to educate himself before beaking

Kirk Tousaw

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