February 2012 NORML Canada Newsletter
Greeting Cannabis Law Reform Community
Attention NORML Canada members!
We are foregoing our regular monthly newsletter in order to bring you this important call to action!
Bill C-10 is now being studied by a Senate committee, just a few short steps away from becoming the law of the land. This is the biggest threat our community has encountered in decades.
Harper’s misguided approach to cannabis will cost Canadian tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars, fill our prisons with non-violent mom and pop level growers, destroy families and futures, and put the safety of our communities at risk.
NORML Canada has written a letter that you can print out and send to your Senator. It is available on our website www.norml.ca along with mailing instructions. Remember, you do not have to pay for postage to mail a letter to your government.
Send your letter to every single senator in the house. Their names can be found on our website, www.norml.ca. As unelected members, they do not have to follow party lines, and can vote as they choose, without fear of repercussion.
Even Harper’s newly appointed Senator Vern White, ex chief of police for Ottawa, was quoted in April 2010 saying he “supported decriminalization”, so clearly, party affiliation is not an issue here, smart policy decisions are the issue. Senator White is to begin his role as a senator later this month.
“My support will be in having a frank discussion about whether or not we want people to have criminal records for possession of marijuana,” [Vern] White said.
As the liberal senators have already indicated they will be voting against C-10, all we need is to convince 10 conservative senators to oppose the bill. Conservative senator Pierre-Claude Nolin, chair of the 2002 senate committee report on cannabis, will be opposing it, only 9 more to go.
Who will be next?
Let our senate know that you do not agree with taking a harder criminal approach to cannabis and inform them that mandatory minimum sentences are both costly and ineffective.
Remember to always be polite and professional when writing to members of your government, and include some statistics and conclusions of the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs, including…
“The continued prohibition of cannabis jeopardizes the health and well-being of Canadians much more than does the substance itself.”
The Senate Special Committee’s 2002 report, “Cannabis: Our Position for a Canadian Public Policy,” is available online: SenateReport.ca
Globe and Mail – September 5, 2002…
More findings from the 2002 report…
…on Police Practices:
Annual costs for drug enforcement in Canada can be estimated at between $700 million and $1 billion.
Cannabis was involved in 70% of the approximately 50,000 charges in 1999.
In 43% of cases (21,381), the charge was for possession of cannabis.
The uneven application of the law is of great concern and may lead to discriminatory enforcement, alienation of certain groups within society, and creation of an atmosphere of disrespect for the law; in general, it raises the issue of fairness and justice.
Prevention strategies in schools should not be led by police services or delivered by police officers.
The RCMP should reconsider its choice of the DARE program.
Harm reduction strategies related to cannabis should be developed in coordination with educators and the social services sector.
Direct link to the Conclusions & Recommendations of the Senate Report.
Please check for campaign updates on the NORML Canada website, participate in the campaign and help it grow. Much more to come!…
Thank you for your help!