Conservatives Would Impose Mandatory Sentences on Drug Dealers, Grow-Ops

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The federal government is proposing changes to the Criminal Code that would impose mandatory minimum jail time for serious drug crimes. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the legislation tabled by the Tories Friday would impose a one-year minimum sentence for dealing drugs such as marijuana for organized crime purposes.

The proposed changes to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act include a mandatory two-year sentence for dealing drugs like cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines to youth and a two-year mandatory sentence for running large-scale marijuana grow-ops.

The proposed changes would increase the maximum sentence for marijuana production to 14 years, from seven, and impose tougher penalties for trafficking in so-called date-rape drugs.

Nicholson said the proposed changes target gangs and organized crime, sending a clear message to drug traffickers.

“If you want to bring drugs into this country you are going to jail,” the federal minister told reporters.

He was in the Vancouver region, where 18 shootings in the past month have been blamed on a gang war over control of the drug trade, and where police were investigating yet another suspicious death on Friday.

“Whether or not it’s a slaying, I don’t know yet. We are waiting for the autopsy to help us with that.” said Cpl. Dale Carr of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

“It’s certainly very suspicious.”

Members of the homicide team were called early Thursday afternoon to a rural area of Maple Ridge, east of Vancouver.

Officers at first believed they were investigating a crash because a white SUV was found upside down in a water-filled ditch, but called the homicide team when the body was removed from the vehicle.

Carr would not confirm how the man died.

“The investigation team is holding that back for investigational reasons,” he said.

Despite critics who say tougher sentences and more jails won’t resolve the issue, the proposed changes to federal laws have been welcomed in British Columbia, where one of the victims of seven recent fatal shootings was a young mother gunned down while driving with her four-year-old son in the back seat.

On Thursday, Nicholson tabled amendments to the Criminal Code that will classify gang killings as first-degree murder, carrying an automatic life sentence with a minimum 25 years without parole.

The bill would also create a new offence and a minimum four-year prison term for drive-by shootings, with the possibility of up to 14 years. Another change toughens Criminal Code sections on assaulting police officers.
Nicholson said Friday the measures will help reduce gang violence by fragmenting the gangs when more go to prison.

“What we want to do is get some of these people off the street. We want to break up this activity.”

However, Nicholson also said addicts who deal drugs simply to pay for their habit will get a break with suspended sentences if they go through a treatment program.

The proposed legislation would allow a specialized drug treatment court to “encourage the accused person to deal with the addiction that motivates their criminal behaviour,” said a news release from the federal Justice Department.

– Article from The Canadian Press.


Government Re-introduces Legislation to Fight Serious Drug Crimes

from the Canadian Department of Justice

VANCOUVER, February 27, 2009 – The Government of Canada today re-introduced legislation providing mandatory minimum prison sentences for serious drug crimes. The bill would establish mandatory jail time for those who produce and sell illegal drugs. This Government is taking the necessary steps to crack down on crime and to ensure the safety and security of our neighbourhoods and communities.

“The Government is fighting back against gangs and other organized criminal groups by introducing new crime laws that target drug crimes, gangs and organized crime,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. “Mandatory prison sentences are appropriate for those who commit serious drug offences threatening our society.”

The proposed amendments to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) would impose mandatory jail time for producing and selling illegal drugs. This legislation calls for special penalties to be imposed when offences are carried out for organized crime purposes or if they target youth.

The amendments to the CDSA would include the provision of:

  • a one-year mandatory prison sentence for dealing drugs such as marijuana, when carried out for organized crime purposes or when a weapon or violence is involved;
  • a two-year mandatory prison sentence for dealing drugs such as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines to youth, or for dealing those drugs near a school or in an area normally frequented by youth
  • a two-year mandatory prison sentence for the offence of running a large marijuana grow operation involving at least 500 plants
  • increased maximum penalties for cannabis production from 7 years to 14 years imprisonment; and,
  • tougher penalties for trafficking GHB and flunitrazepam, most commonly known as date-rape drugs.
    The proposed legislation would allow a Drug Treatment Court to suspend a sentence while the addicted accused person takes an approved treatment program. Drug Treatment Courts encourage the accused person to deal with the addiction that motivates their criminal behaviour. If the person successfully completes the program, the court normally imposes a suspended or reduced sentence. These courts include a blend of judicial supervision, incentives for reduced drug use, social services support, and sanctions for non-compliance.

“These measures are a proportionate and measured response designed to disrupt criminal enterprise; drug producers and dealers who threaten the safety of our communities must face tougher penalties,” said Minister Nicholson. “Our message to potential offenders is clear: if you sell or produce drugs, you will face jail time.”

Darren Eke
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice
613-957-4207

– From the Canadian Department of Justice


Mandatory prison sentences for serious drug crimes

from the Canadian Department of Justice

The Government today re-introduced amendments to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) which was originally tabled in November 2007. The legislation provides mandatory jail time for producing and selling illegal drugs, and will allow special penalties to be imposed when offences are carried out for organized crime purposes, or if they involve youth. This legislation supports the National Anti-Drug Strategy’s efforts to combat illicit drug production and distribution.

The proposed reforms would help disrupt criminal enterprises by targeting drug suppliers. It would send a clear message to growers and traffickers that this illicit activity will not be tolerated, and they will be punished — especially when their activities involve Canada’s youth or trafficking near schools.

Anyone found guilty of a serious drug offence would automatically receive a mandatory term of imprisonment. For the purpose of this initiative, serious drug offences would include:

  • production;
  • trafficking;
  • possession for the purpose of trafficking;
  • importing and exporting; and
  • possession for the purpose of exporting.

The Bill would amend the CDSA to include mandatory prison terms for drugs listed in Schedule I, such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, and in Schedule II, such as marijuana. Generally, the minimum sentence would apply where there is an aggravating factor, including where the production of the drug constituted a potential security, health or safety hazard. Also, the maximum penalty for production of Schedule II drugs, e.g., marijuana, would be increased from 7 to 14 years.

The aggravating factors involve offences committed:

  • for the benefit of organized crime;
  • involving use or threat of violence;
  • involving use or threat of use of weapons;
  • by someone who has been previously convicted (in the past 10 years) of a serious drug offence;
  • in a prison;
  • in or near a school, in or near an area normally frequented by youth or in the presence of youth;
  • through involving a youth in the commission of the offence; and,
  • in relation to a youth (e.g. selling to a youth).

The security, health and safety factors are:

  • the accused used real property that belongs to a third party to commit the offence;
  • the production constituted a potential security, health or safety hazard to children who were in the location where the offence was committed or in the immediate area;
  • the production constituted a potential public safety hazard in a residential area; and,
  • the accused placed or set a trap.

Also, GHB and flunitrazepam, most commonly known as date-rape drugs, and amphetamine drugs would be moved from Schedule III to Schedule I, which would provide access to higher maximum penalties for illegal activities involving these drugs.

Exemption for the Drug Treatment Court

The proposed legislation would allow a Drug Treatment Court (DTC) to suspend the imposition of a sentence while the addicted accused person takes an approved treatment program. Drug Treatment Courts encourage the accused person to deal with the addiction that motivates their criminal behaviour. If the person successfully completes the program, the court normally imposes a suspended or reduced sentence.

SEE ANNEX A FOR THE PROPOSED NEW MANDATORY SENTENCES FOR SERIOUS DRUG OFFENCES SCHEDULE 1 DRUGS (COCAINE, HEROIN, METHAMPHETAMINE, ETC.)

SEE ANNEX B FOR THE PROPOSED NEW MANDATORY SENTENCES FOR SERIOUS DRUG OFFENCES SCHEDULE II DRUGS (CANNABIS AND MARIJUANA)

ANNEX A

ANNEX B

1 Aggravating Factors List A

The aggravating factors include offences committed:

  • for the benefit of organized crime;
  • involving use or threat of violence;
  • involved use or threat of use of weapons;
  • by someone who was previously convicted (in the past 10 years) of a serious drug offence involving a Schedule I or II substance.

2 Aggravating Factors List B

The aggravating factors include offences committed:

  • in a prison;
  • in or near a school, in or near an area normally frequented by youth or in the presence of youth;
  • in concert with a youth;
  • in relation to a youth (e.g. selling to a youth).

3 Health and Safety Factors

  • the accused used real property that belongs to a third party to commit the offence;
  • the production constituted a potential security, health or safety hazard to children who were in the location where the offence was committed or in the immediate area;
  • the production constituted a potential public safety hazard in a residential area;
  • the accused placed or set a trap.

– From the Canadian Department of Justice

Comments

16 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    Not ouch, lets all go to the grow stores grab some poly shield and start our own operation. They shut down one of my operations befor but the second i got home I started again, something had to pay the legal fees. It took 3 years and after reviewing all the lies on the warrant which was bolstered anyways to obtain access to my house, I proved that it was full of lies and my charter of rights was violated the charges were drop. I been growing 12 years now, I know the laws and my rights and by saying something but being unable to prove it is all what matters in court. heirsay means nothing in our system, its all about proof. Doesn’t matter if you have a million dollar operation, if they lied to get in its up to you to stand up and prove what they did wrong and nothing matters about what they found. The end does not justifly the means and thats how supream court of canada works. They offered 8 months probation, they try to give you an easy way out but don’t go for it take the hard path and fight it to keep your freedom. Just so you know they never raided the house I lit back up after they raided nit the first time and I grew there another 8 more months.

  2. Anonymous on

    This has not been passed yet so its time to stand up and fight for what we want

  3. Anonymous on

    We all know that these new laws are really to target the small time grower. The big time grower will still have enough money to buy off whoever he needs to in order to walk. The real problems in our country is hardcore drugs which should carry a life sentence, not marihaunna. Us growers work very hard to produce a clean product, wait up to 4 months sometimes on a cycle from start to finish and we are not getting rich. All these new laws are going to do is increase the price even higher allow people to grow less and get more for it. The only solution to hardcore drug fighting is to target the rich people who are bring Cocaine and Herion and Crystal Meth into our country. Why is it that gangs can operate and the real king pins never go down for anything. Are the police scared to go into house where hardcore drugs are being sold, well maybe they should not be cops then. They choose to take down the grower and allow the crack houses to run. I was talking to Victoria Police officers who told me “If we crack down on hardcore Drugs there will be higher prices which increase crime in order for the user to obtain the product”. This is a sorry excuse. Lets eliminate the hard drugs and put our money that meant for fighting grow ops into rehab facilities for all of the junkies that keep growing in larger numbers in our country. I think when it comes time to vote that the conservitives need to go, as we seen that they have done nothing about our high gas prices because thats what harper is all about ALBERTA and the oil. Sounds kinda like Bush who was all about higher oil prices and stoping the weed. If the USA looked at their country people live in fear, thats why they need guns, there are rich hospitals and poor ones, they have a serious hardcore drug problem they need to deal with first befor pointing the finger at us about weed. I think everyone that smokes weed should start a grow op and lets have so many of them that its imposible to shut it all down. The old saying is “He who holds the seeds makes the rules”. Lets start grower outside and producing so many seeds that they will never be able to stop us. The goverment is suppose to be there for the people and the people have chosen marihauna as our culture. When will the goverment listen to us.

  4. Furiously-Skeptical on

    I am deeply discouraged by this recent turn in events. I have been following this bill since it was first proposed but was relieved when it wasn’t passed. Now that it is back on the table because of recent events, I feel nervous again.

    I agree with the comments that people post on this site but I think that (at times) they disrupt the ability for people to take marijuana users seriously. If we want people to listen to our cries for decriminalization or legalization, we have to present the facts, arguments, and our feelings in a careful manner. Immature posts with poor English use and many expletives make this site, its users, and cannabis smokers in general look foolish.

  5. Anonymous on

    Damn, that sucks. The US has finally made some progress and now I Canada is getting tougher.

  6. Anonymous on

    did u notice that the 6 months mandatory sentence for production of of 1-200 plants wasn’t mentioned in any of the departements statement except in small print in appendixed b? and in the notes it said for purpposes of traffiking, so how do they deciced if it was for personal use or trafficking? by the size of the bags u store it in? big for personel dimes for selling? what utter bullshit thaey obsiously printed this statement in a way that u would not notice the sentnce for 1-200 plants, what a sneaky, cowardly cunt way of trying to punish ppl who grow for themselves. oh and also in appendix b did u notice the 1 year sentce for oil or resin production. so if u make a couple grams of bubble hash u would get a minimum 12 months in jail what fucking bullshit!. THERE using all the fear of gang violence to push threw laws thev’ve wanted to do for years. I dont beleive the wussy oppossiton will oppose this at all. fuck, end prohibation. i wish a big meteor would hit parliment hill and kill every single politician there all shit eating bitches!

  7. Anonymous on

    There copying off manditory minimums here in the US. But the drug laws they are proposing are still sweet and definately wouldn’t deter me even with the manditory minimums. Florida, has alot higher manditory minimums.

  8. joe and his six pack on

    The government massage is clear to drug traffickers they support organize crime buy letting them control the drug trade money. Harper is afraid to control the drug trade for it would create a surplus and we all know how Harper hates to have a surplus. We all saw what he did with the surplus left by the liberals he killed lost it.

  9. 40miller on

    Good to see the our government fights fires with gas. How do these new laws get the drugs off the street? It doesn’t simple as that. All they are going to accomplish is an even bigger drug market. Taking all the low time dealers off the street, putting more money into the big time organizations. It time to realize people like there drugs. Considering 2/3 of the charges are for marijuana alone. It’s time to rethink prohibition especially in today’s economy. Harder to find drugs just means that more people are going to want to tap into that market, putting more grow ops in our cities. Harper open your fucking eyes. For every step forward the world makes in anti-prohibition you make Canada take 5 steps back.

  10. 420Miller on

    Good to see our government fights fires with gas. Harsher sentences has no effect on getting the drugs off the streets, it just makes a higher demand for them. All this is going to accomplish is getting these small time dealers off the street. Exactly what the bigger organizations want, just puts more money into their pocket because now there is a higher demand for drugs. People have been taking drugs since DAY 1. It is a problem you can not stop. The best thing to do at this point is to end Prohibition and start the education process. They need to realize illegal or legal people are still going to do these drugs especially when 2/3 of the charges are for marijuana. Alcohol did not work years ago only led to more crime, and in today’s society violence has gotten much worse, money has gotten more important. So for once Harper listen to the facts, open your eyes, see the world for what it is.

  11. Anonymous on

    Good to see they try to put out fires with gas…This accomplishes nothing but putting MORE money into the pockets of organized crime. Getting all these low time dealers off the streets. Making it harder to get drugs, more demand for drugs which in essence means more crimes.

  12. Reggaesmoker on

    So basically the government just gave organized crime a reason to raise prices. Someone please explain to me how making the drug trade more lucrative will deter organized criminals?
    So now I face 2 years minimum in prison for passing a joint and on top of that my joints gonna cost more. Maybe its time to just start growing for myself?

  13. Anonymous on

    Fucking great, they better not even come close to passing this!!

    Has nothing been learned from jailing non-violent offenders?
    Or maybe they just want a bunch of non-violent people having their life ruined, maybe they will start making inmates in jail work for slave wages like in the states.

  14. Sir Les on

    I’d like to ask…what crime are we breaking when we grow a plant God gave us to use in the garden?…
    Now I believe Today the garden is in need of something a little more powerful than a carbon tax…

    I don’t see what is the illegality of growing plants…
    If we are to make money in this system…which is Now gone to the Idolatic state since Eygpt and Moses…and from Jesus Christs walk here…and we break the second commandment of God…What does it matter, and how does the law hold any water to that estate?

    Does God ask the three slaves (when Given money) what they did to gain more?
    No…but God does ask the slave who gained none…and calls him lazy…

    Now if we take a good look at that story…the lazy slave is the righteous slave.
    And the ones who made more…they were the wicked slaves, which in this story are praised by God?….hmmm what about the second commandment?

    See…Now if we break the second commandment blatantly so today…God’s law…then what is going to stop us from breaking human laws which contridict the Biblical instruction to tend and keep the garden.
    Which by no means is being done right if we have global warming and pollution of the wild life showing….hmmm

    So I think whoever is forcing these legality issues, should learn a bit more about the plant they are outlawing.

    I say Marijuana when used right is good…and it is always Good…until it is abused or misused.

    Why do I need a law to stop me from doing what God asked of me?

    And if they want IDOLs/money/taxes / rent etc…from me..for being born into this mad house…they should be more LIBERAL with the means to which I break God’s Laws to get it.
    That being a forced issue and all.

    Sir Les

  15. Anonymous on

    ouch