The day before Hallowe’en was a very scary day for Canadians. Many of us were afraid that we would lose our country
because of a public vote in Quebec. We didn’t realize that we were also losing our freedom because of a private vote
Late in the afternoon of October 30th, as the ballots were being counted in the Quebec referendum, the Canadian
parliament passed Bill C-7, the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act. The official opposition, the Bloc Quebecois, were
not in present to speak or vote against the bill, as they had chosen to boycott Parliament that day because of the
Bill C-7 makes no provision for the medical use of marijuana, and makes no reduction to the harsh penalties for
marijuana possession. Despite pleas from the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, the Canadian Bar Association, and
the Criminal Lawyers Association, Paul Szabo and his sub-committee have refused to back away from imprisoning
peaceful users of marijuana.
According to Hedy Fry, Bill C-7 will “streamline” the judicial process, which means that more pot smokers will be
going to jail, without the inconvenience of an expensive and time consuming trial by jury. Is this justice?
International treaties are no reason to imprison responsible and patriotic Canadians who happen to use marijuana. The
Netherlands is a signatory to the same treaties as Canada, and yet their drug policy is drastically different, and
more succesful, than ours.
Canadian drug policy is a serious issue. It deserves serious, open debate. We must not tolerate a government that
passes such important legislation behind closed doors, plotting more efficient ways to imprison their citizens while
the fate of a country hangs in the balance.