VANCOUVER, BC – Last month, a group of American members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) warned the Canadian government to eliminate sections of Bill C-10 that create mandatory minimum sentences for minor cannabis-related crimes lest the mistakes of the U.S.’s “war on drugs” be repeated here. Now, on the eve of C-10’s being signed in to law, LEAP’s Canadian members are also speaking out.
“The good news is that government was forced to respond to our neighbors to the south who have experience with these harsh laws,” says William Vandergraaf, a member of LEAP Canada’s board and a retired Winnipeg police detective. “But the government’s reasons for these mandatory minimums are fundamentally flawed: Prohibition is a proven failure in the real world.”
John Anderson, LEAP Canada’s vice president, said, “We heard the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Justice say that Canada has a parole system, while the US federal system doesn’t, which it clearly does. Then the government keeps saying that cannabis should be illegal because organized crime produces and sells a lot of it. Obviously, this is reasoning in the reverse: The only reason why organized crime is in the business of trafficking is because marijuana is illegal. When we legalize cannabis, legal businesses will take over the vast bulk of the market, just as they did when alcohol prohibition ended.”
“Their arguments for mandatory minimums on cannabis are inconsistent with the evidence. Making Canadian taxpayers cough up millions of dollars for new prisons seems to be a solution in search of a problem”.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. For more information, visit http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.
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