House of Commons
This letter is to express my extreme disappointment in the Reform Party. It was an extremely undemocratic and
irresponsible act for Bill C-7, the Controlled Drugs & Substances Act, to be given third reading and passed in the
absence of the Official Opposition.
Without the Bloc Qu?becois in the House, the Reform party had a magnificent opportunity to challenge the
prohibitionists and shame them for their attempt to ignore the testimony that had been presented to them and pass
Bill C-7 in the shadow of the referendum.
Instead, Reform Health Critic Grant Hill did not raise any of the fundamental issues surrounding Bill C-7. He did
not challenge Paul Szabo’s statement that satisfying the requirements of the International Narcotics Control Board
was “the most important reason for this piece of legislation.” Dr Hill did not explain that Canada can easily
withdraw from these conventions, or that Holland is also a signatory to the same treaties as Canada and yet still
manages to have a drug policy based upon tolerance and harm reduction.
Neither did any Reform MP stand up to challenge Paul Szabo’s statement that “Marijuana is about 15 times more
potent today than it was 10 years ago. Marijuana today is as potent as cocaine was 10 years ago. Let there be no
confusion, marijuana is a dangerous drug…” Although these claims are absolute nonsense, no Reform MP raised his
voice in protest. This is disgraceful behaviour.
I am in agreement with the Canadian Bar Association’s submission on Bill C-7, which concluded that:
The prohibition approach to drug control is outdated and has proven ineffective in decreasing drug use, reducing
crime, or improving public or individual health. Bill C-7 will result in a significant increase in rates of
incarceration and in lengths of sentences, and will place additional stresses on an already overburdened criminal
justice system. It will not contribute to public health but will accomplish exactly the opposite.
Bill C-7 represents a misguided approach to drug control, one that is unnecessary and costly to Canadians.
These sentiments were echoed by the Addiction Research Foundation, the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, the
Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the Toronto Department of Public Health, the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse,
and a majority of the different organizations that came before the subcommittee.
I would also like to voice my support for the medical use of marijuana. Marijuana has many medical aspects and should
be legally available to Canadians who could benefit from its use. Heroin and cocaine are available for therapeutic
and medicinal use, why isn’t marijuana?
By ignoring the testimony of the groups that came before the Bill C-7 subcommittee and passing Bill C-7 without
substantial changes, the Liberal party has sentenced hundreds of Canadians to death and thousands more to prison. I
hope that the Reform party will work against this to promote a drug policy based upon the principles of tolerance
and harm reduction.
Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to your thoughts on these matters.