Monday, November 30, 2009

Canada's Bill C-15 a copy of US Failing Drug Policy

Article: Just Say No to Bill C-15 on December 2nd

Article Source:

By Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy - Monday, November 23 2009

On Wednesday, December 2, 2009 CSSDP chapters across Canada are going to be demonstrating against the introduction of mandatory minimum sentences, sending the message that young Canadians need education not condemnation. Mandatory incarceration will not help young Canadians!

In Ottawa young Canadians will be handcuffed on Parliament Hill to represent the negative impacts on those caught up by this bill. We will be distributing handouts and engaging with folks on the hill and in the streets to get people to speak out against Bill C-15.

Go to for more ways to help stop Bill C-15

Bill C-15 is a copy of the failing US Drug Policy implementing mandatory minimums (jail time) under the "tough on crime" approach. I find this step by Canada a step back in the wrong direction after the decriminalization that the country has experienced over the past decades. In the mind of a prohibitionist this is clearly a sign of US government's pressure on criminalizing the drug on a harsher level so that Canada's marijuana culture does not step over the border, but could it be more than that? According to the article from the prison industry is one of America's most profitable industry. If you want to make lots of money that is the industry you want to get into, but at what cost? In the same article it is reported, "Roughly half of the industry is controlled by the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America, which runs 46 penal institutions in 11 states. It took ten years for the company to reach 10,000 beds; it is now growing by that same number every year." The top of the prison industry players are clear that CCA is the dominant company that has been growing as a result of the financial success of the profitable industry. Is growth for the prison industry a good thing for the American people? Why has this industry been growing so quickly? These answers are in the article as well. As reported, "The rate for most serious crimes has been dropping or stagnant for the past 15 years, but during the same period severe repeat offender provisions and a racist "get-tough" policy on drugs have helped push the US prison population up from 300,000 to around 1.5 million during the same period. This has produced a corresponding boom in prison construction and costs, with the federal government's annual expenditures in the area, now $17 billion. In California, passage of the infamous "three strikes" bill will result in the construction of an additional 20 prisons during the next few years." It is known that the prison industry uses lobbyists just like the marijuana legislation organizations, but what benefits the people? These prison guard lobbyists support harsher punishments for less serious crimes so that there will always be another prisoner in need of a facility like a private prison who looks for ensuring that there are no vacancies similar to a hotel's business objective. I believe the urge to implement Bill C-15 comes as a result of Conservative Canadian government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and individuals associated with the prison industry who seek more financial success this time in Canada. The irony is that as we see state laws changing in many states in the US for the better, Canada is being led back in the dark in regards to drug policy reform.
- Felix Pavolotsky
Kent State SSDP


  1. Canadian Senate Committee Passes Bill C-15

    C-15 has been passed by the Senate Committee with minor amendments.

    -If you produce 1 plant in a residential neighbourhood, C-15 still prescribes a 9 month sentence.
    -If you produce 1 plant in a rented property, C-15 still prescribes a 9 month sentence.
    -If you produce 1 plant in a house that you own, C-15 still prescribes a 9 month sentence.
    -If you produce 200 plants on a farm that you own, C-15 does not apply.

    Unfortunately, the Committee was missing the two most prominent critics of C-15 during the clause-by-clause debate today, and were unable to propose ammendments to remove 1-201 plants in residential or rented properties.

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