As an Oregonian, I have seen the failed policy of mandatory sentences first hand. Even with the best intentions in mind, it just never works out. Here in Oregon we have ‘Measure 11’offenses which require mandatory sentences for certain offenses. While it punishes many deserving guilty parties, it is so inflexible that it leaves no room for a judgment call in a grey area case (isn’t that the whole point of the court system?). Since mandatory sentences have no place in any judicial system, it is even more ridiculous to apply that broken logic to marijuana offenses. Marijuana offenses should be the last thing that the court system should be dealing with in these hard budget times, yet in Canada it sounds like some neo-cons are gone off the reefer madness. Here is an e-mail I received earlier today:
By. Jacob Hunter, WhyProhibition.ca
On December 13 the Canadian Senate Passed S-10 (formerly known as C-15 and C-26 before that). So, where does that leave our community?
S-10 proposes Mandatory Minimum Sentences of 6 months for growing 6 or more marijuana plants, and 18 months for producing any amount of hashish or edibles (cookies, brownies, etc). S-10, like C-15 and C-26 before it, has been opposed by every expert as a massive waste of money that will increase crime and violence on our streets. In response, the Stephen Harper Conservatives have been unwilling and unable to offer up a single peice of evidence to support S-10.
Even the US Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske described bills like S-10 as being “dumb on drugs”. When the US Drug Czar, a man legally obligated to support the drug war is calling this bill “dumb” it must be pretty dumb indeed.
S-10 must now proceed to the House of Commons for an identical process (2 votes, committee hearings, committee report vote, final vote) as it went through in the Senate. The difference for our community is that now we can address our concerns to our elected officials, who are generally more responsive than our unelected Senators.
If we’re going to defeat S-10, we need your help! Here’s what you can do to help:
1) Call Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s office, and encourage the Liberals to take a strong stand against S-10: (613) 995-9364 and (416) 251-5510
2) Call the Conservative Party of Canada and express your outrage, in as great a detail as you can, at this horrific attack on our community and our culture: (866) 808-8407
3) Post this article on Facebook, Twitter, Marijuana Forums and anywhere else online you can!
5) Call your local head shop (bong/pipe store), grow/hydroponics store or medical marijuana dispensary and make sure they know about S-10 and encourage them to get involved! (Handbills are available in color and black and white on the front page of WhyProhibition.ca)
6) Get your friends signed up to WhyProhibition.ca! We’ve almost doubled our membership in 2010, and with it, almost doubled our power in Canadian politics! With your help, we will be able to push harder than every before and make sure S-10 doesn’t pass!
With your help, we can defeat S-10 just as we did C-15 and C-26 before it! Get active, start calling and make S-10 history!
WhyProhibition.ca is a project of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation:
142 – 757 W. Hastings, Suite 211
Vancouver, BC V6C 1A1