In the face of increasing gang violence in Canada, Member of Parliament Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP) called for an end to drug prohibition during members’ statements yesterday. “Alcohol prohibition did not work,” he said. “It took ending prohibition and implementing alcohol control policies to restore respect for the law and make progress.”
Mr. Speaker, people all over greater Vancouver are deeply concerned about gang violence. While tough on crime measures always top the list of potential fixes, there is a growing realization that drug prohibition policies are making the situation worse.
Alcohol prohibition did not work. Many of the same problems now associated with the drug trade were experienced in the United States during its period of alcohol prohibition. Gang violence that often caught innocent citizens, impure and dangerous alcohol sold in black markets, home stills and underground production, untreated addictions and family dislocation were all serious issues.
It took ending prohibition and implementing alcohol control policies to restore respect for the law and make progress on alcohol related social issues.
We must apply what we know to be true. We must move from prohibition to drug control regimes modelled on the experience of alcohol prohibition and control. Bold steps to confront our drug use hypocrisy and end the profitability of illegal drugs will make our communities safer.
– From the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session Edited Hansard on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.