New ‘Serious Offence’ Language Includes Marijuana

The ‘Regulations Prescribing Certain Offences to be Serious Offences’ came into effect July 13, 2010, and was publically enacted by the Federal Government early in August 2010. Regulations, unlike legislation, do not need to be approved by Parliament. Regulations are the specifics of legislation; in this case it is what particular offences are included as a ‘serious offence’. The Criminal Code sets out that the federal government has the power to include activities into the definition of ‘serious offences’ without Parliamentary debate. These regulation changes were made to the Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The new regulations expand the definition of ‘serious offence’ under the Criminal Code. By designating an offence a ‘serious offence’, someone convicted would potentially face a longer period of time than if caught under the offence generally. The new regulations include a number of new offences which, if carried out in relation to organized crime, carry a 5 year prison sentence. The designation also increases police powers during investigation, such as wiretaps and warrants. There is also greater seizure of proceeds and assets provisions, as well as changes to bail provisions. It has been said that these regulations bring Canada’s criminal laws closer to that of the United States. The new offences target ‘signature activities’ of organized crime, and involve gambling, betting and bawdyhouse related activities, as well as changes to drug trafficking laws which are discussed more below. Organized crime, or a ‘criminal organization’ under the Canadian Criminal Code is: three or more people inside or outside Canada; and these people are together mainly to either commit ‘serious offences’ or materially benefit from them being committed.

The new regulations cover trafficking and production in Schedule IV substances (includes Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Anabolic Steroids, and related). Importing and exporting any substance in Schedule IV and V is also included as a ‘serious offence’. As well, trafficking cannabis (including hashish) amounts under 3 kilograms has been included as a ‘serious offence’.

So if three or more people are trading a few grams of marijuana amongst themselves, this is now potentially a ‘serious offence’, and these people are facing 5 years in jail.

Not surprisingly, the federal government claims these regulations are targeting ‘kingpins’, head honchos, the leaders of organized crime. Unfortunately, none of this adds up to ‘safer and healthier communities’, as the government likes to put it. These tough on crime regulations are not going to make a dent in the drug trade. The only effective way to remove drugs as a source of revenue for organized crime is to regulate them.

These regulations instead increase the criminalization of drugs and drug users in Canadian communities. Low level, non-violent offenders are the easy prey of these regulations. Prisons are not treatment centers. Prisons are not where we want young people to receive drug education, as they fulfill their prison terms from these regulations.

The fact is these regulations are in effect. There is always the unpredictable question of how the law will be enforced. Will the law be used to keep ‘kingpins’ off our streets? Or will it be used to threaten medical marijuana compassion centers and co-ops? Will the new regulations be used selectively and meaningfully, or will they be used to further marginalize people already on the fringes of our society?

The federal government’s ‘tough on crime’ approach to drugs and drug-related crime is making our communities less safe. They are pretending we can simply enforce our way out of our problems, and in the process starve social programs, diverse treatment options, and harm reduction strategies. The drug market needs to be effectively regulated, not inefficiently enforced. The prohibition of drugs creates more harm than the drugs themselves. CSSDP continues to call on all political parties to take a stand, and recognize that we need to end the criminalization of drugs and drug users, and implement a public-health based approach to drugs in our society.

– Press release from Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Comments

35 Comments

  1. Anonymous on

    Fuck you harper! Fuck you!….. Ass Hole. just ruining peoples lives. all of Canada to be specific. FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous on

    that harper douchebag is ruining this country, god damn fucking conservative CUNTS FUCK YOU!

  3. Brad on

    You people all need a lesson in fundamental freedom. EVERYTHING that you are bitching and complaining about here is all Statutory Law. Have any of you ever actually looked at the definition of a Statute?

    As defined by Black’s Law a statute is: a legislated body given the force of law within a consenting society. STOP F***ING CONSENTING TO THESE B*LL**T STATUTES!

  4. LabRat on

    I didn’t say anything nasty and I’m a registered member in the forums for the last few years.

    Is it WTF?

    I guess if this doesn’t post that might be it. LOL

  5. Anonymous on

    larouchepac.com and high times.com
    Read all the posts

  6. Anonymous on

    these conservative bullies have got to go…..

  7. Yvon on

    How can a site like your’s spread shuts serious lies.

    Only because of corruption and the ignorance of the mass, can the law be interpreted as in the first paragraph of this article. The Interpretation Act R.S.C. 1985, c. I-21 dictate very clearly how laws can be amended.

    “42.(1) Every Act shall be so construed as to reserve to “PARLIAMENT” the power of repealing or amending it, and of revoking, restricting or modifying any power, privilege or advantage thereby vested in or granted to any person.”

    Duhaime Law dictionary

    Amend:
    To change, to revise, usually of the wording of a written document such as legislation.
    To change, to revise; to formally change a statement on the record or the wording of a written document, such as a statute.

    We the people need to stand and start holding our Government accountable for not obeying the written laws of the land. The totally corrupt governments we’ve been electing are acting as rulers instead of servers.

    Wake up herd! we need you’s to remember you are created in god image so we can retake control of our country and put a end to the evil dictatorship that is invading us all.

    Peace, love and freedom to all,

  8. PeyotePal on

    The Canadian Government urges all citizens to LIVE IN PRISON.

    Prime Minister Harper has been advised that all Canadian are actually criminals that haven’t been convicted yet.

    With no success in throwing citizens in jail over not filling out the long census form, the reigning Conservative Government had to find new ways to continue the steady stream of citizens into an already over-crowded prison system.

    “We are seeing a scary trend here,” said an aide to the Prime Minister, “It seems the more laws we bring in the more criminals we find. This is a very disturbing find, and this Government will not rest until everyone guilty of something is in prison. We simply cannot risk the safety of the public during such a crisis.”

  9. Anonymous on

    It’s over for Canada.. Unless we do something!! They are aligning these laws in place for the north American union. They will clamp down on us with these pety statutes for victimless crime.. 9 billion for prisons?! Wake up Canada.. Our U.S neighbors aren’t the only ones asleep at the wheel..

    We need to put an end to this now! The only industry that will be thriving in Canada in the next 20 years will be the prison industry while they feed China our tax dollars and sell off our resources.

    Of course, we’ll be part of the NAU by then and you’ll be fucking sorry you didn’t at least write or call your MP. (Like that will help, but still!)

  10. Anonymous on

    Thanks Troll

  11. Anonymous on

    Crime? I think your definition of crime is a lot different than mine.

  12. Dr. Gigglestick on

    I have several friends who got busted in BC and Alberta. My friends in BC were busted with over 150 plants and they each served 9 months;in contrast, my friend in Edmonton AB served 2 years for appx 30 plants! I saw the CTV news this morning and the RCMP busted a grow op in Manatoba with 24 plants and was considered a big bust by RCMP in Manatoba! Clearly each province differs in punishment/ jail time. I was picked up by the RCMP for possesing 90 grams of high grade BC bud and they did not charge me nor confiscate my bud. I got off with a ‘warning’. In Alberta I would be hauled into the cop shop in handcuffs and charged in court. Huh?!!! I hope the guys in Manitoba don’t serve ant time or very little. This new law targeting organized crime by incriminating harmless pot dealers when the RCMP should be investigating hard drugs and other more serious offences such as human trafficking etc. This new law will give the RCMP more insentive to pick and choose pot dealers to be busted. I wish The Liberals were still a majority government then cannabis would have been decriminalized. Damn Harper and his M.P.s Kick the conservatives out of Canada and give them US citizenship. Deport the Prime Minister and his MPs. Wish we could!

  13. Anonymous on

    Sounds like we need to have a Revolution. Harper is a turd, look at his beady weasel eyes and tell me hes not a criminal himself.

  14. Anonymous on

    You sound like a complete idot! Why come to Marc Emery’s web page to slander his name, that would be because you are a very lame douchebag. Id come to your website if you had one and tell you what a lame geek you are.

  15. Dave on

    I think you better relax! We are peaceful people and do not endorse violent people and their violence. But if you’re patient then be assured, “we will, one day, prosecute the prosecutors”! They have declared war on us and their war crimes will be revealed, so relax!

  16. Worm on

    In this world of texting as long as you understand what is being said does it matter how things are spelt. r u ok with that?

    JUST SAY NOW!

  17. Anonymous on

    Are you serious? Mandatory minimums do not stop or reduce crime. what the do is keep non-violent drug offenders in jail for ridiculous amounts of time while forcing the more violent robbers, muggers, etc. out early because there is no mandatory minimum for those offenses. Go to the LEAP( Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) website and get back to me. What actually happens is that the more strictly you enforce pot laws, the less resources there are for more violent and costly offenses. This is not my theory, this is a fact. BTW, Marc Emery is being/was fucked over and will be proven right by history. I was a fan. I will never watch your show again. Just because something has been the status quo for 75 years doesn’t make it right, does it?

  18. Anonymous on

    Exactly! Every prime minister is a paid actor and as you mentioned, this country is owned by private interests. As citizens of the Canada corporation, we are franchises of the ”government”, which see’s us as human resources working for their benefit. The political party system is a scam, the oligarchs who have controlled this country in the past will continue to do so in the future.
    Look into the Bank for International Settlements, the secretive international headquarters for the financial elite, whereby the agenda for our central bank, and many others worldwide, is devised. These are the true people in power who you never hear of and will most likely never see in person.
    Look at Parliament Hill, with its gothic, Masonic and satanic designs. Canadian democracy/freedom is a sham, this country is rotten to the core and it goes far deeper than the conservative front men in power. Let us never forget that this country was founded upon death, slavery and torture, not the ideal of freedom.

  19. Anonymous on

    If under the new regulations three or more members of the Conservative Party (unreported criminals) where to be found guilty of fraud for the mishandling of funds from the 50 billion dollar stimulus waste, would the 5 years extra time for being a member of organized apply to politicians? Or is this law strictly for application as the neo cons see fit?

  20. Slave on

    City of London:

    Owns Canada, New Zealand, Australia,…

    Grow up sheeple, Harper is just one of many signatories, before and following, designed to drag you down into tyranny, amazing how not one, not one person on cannabis forums gets it.

    See if you may with eyes wise open for the first time. Canada is a corporation ruled by a cable of banksters and corrupt psychopaths, how could Harper or anyone else (s)elected into government be anything else but a puppet to rope in the lemmings, into cities, into prisons…?

  21. M.SebastianPatrick on

    Legislation making plants into forbidden flowers tie-up valuable police time with the processing of low-level cannabis offenders making innocent people further exposed to violent crimes such as rape, robbery, and murder. Most of the states in the U.S. already spend more on incarceration of criminals than education of their children. An educated populous; NOT a police state is the only way for the system of American democracy to work. If you believe in incarceration and criminalization of those who consume and trade in harmful plants, will you not stand up for tobacco illegalization? Will you refuse to take the same stand against the most harmful plant to human health in the world? And if so…why?

  22. Anonymous on

    Canada is one of the most backward nations on Earth, right after the US. While civilized nations like Netherlands, Spain and Portugal actually allow their citizens to use harmless herbs unmolested, Canad and the US are still in the days of the Inquisition. Here’s the Canadian and US governments; “Calling all cars, we have word of somebody using an herb to induce a pleasant mental state and/or treat an illness, lock them up immediately. They didn’t say Big Brother May I and even if they did we’d say no, just because we personally don’t think that anybody should experience anything good without paying us for it”. These are the countries whose leaders who still think Cannabis is the same thing as heroin, so they keep it in the same schedule even in 2010 when every scientist alive knows that such a scheduling is completely unsupportable.

    This shows you the truth of the situation, that your governments can and will do whatever they feel like at the time and nobody can do shit about it. If you take your case to the Supreme Court, the judges ,will just do the same thing as the federal government who appointed them and who are paying their fat salaries and later their fat pensions, ignore all scientific facts and weave an elaborate legalese tapestry to support their improper decisions which is so confusing that it almost makes sense. You know the way they talk in the Supreme Court, they sit up there and ask the most inane questions about every little legal technicality while ignoring the glaring facts right in front of them. Works every time. Cannabis is still in the same schedule as opiates isn’t it? That right there is all the proof you will ever need that Canada and the US are dictatorships that can get away with making anything that they don’t do themselves illegal for no other reason than that they say so. They will never make alcohol illegal, or Viagra. They need those themselves.

  23. Anonymous on

    Right on!!! you are lucky to have 52 states to chose from. Imagine growing in Hawaii, all that good soil and sun… Thanks for the seeds, Marc

  24. Anonymous on

    Crime does pay; do your homework before spouting off. Marc Emery stands up for what he believes in and he knew that he would do time. Pay attention when he gets out, nothing hanging over his head at this time. Could be politics next…

  25. undrgrndgirl on

    that you now know how many of us ‘mericans have felt since the 1980s…and now i’m left wondering what to do with my(recently conferred) dual canadian citizenship …sigh…

  26. undrgrndgirl on

    we here in the u.s. are free from crime due to our mandatory sentencing and three strikes laws…so much so we had to IMPORT a “criminal” from the great white north and immediately stuff him in solitary…(cue eye rolling)

  27. Paul Goodman on

    The Conservative government are true assholes in every sense of the word. To celebrate this new policy I’m going to roll a fat one! Who’s with me!

  28. Anonymous on

    Did someone bring tricky Dick back to life or what? and why are old American Frankenstein programs still running in Canada? God nor government will help those that heal themselves! Never mind the fact that there are too many people alive on this planet, but putting so many smart people in jail doesn’t help the issues at hand. Maybe one could say that the old mind control project over the boarder is still at large, even though it was said to be dismantled so many years ago. But still, old US stupidity really does not belong any where in this world. And I know many would agree, it certainly does not belong here in Canada!!!
    To bad the USA would not own up to being wrong years ago, so the world can set itself straight.

  29. Anonymous on

    The neo cons will not let up on the weed. Harper’s obsession with control will result in more heroin on our streets. It is a fact that if the price of marijuana is increased and the price of heroin is decreasing, more people will get hooked on heroin. Why would Harper want that? He actually may not, but G.W. and crew do. The ten of thousands of tons smuggled out of Afghanistan during the Bush Administration watch was record breaking, hundreds of billions of dollar’s worth! Only thing is that is more then the existing heroin market will bare. So it is necessary to create a much larger list of clientèle, Harper the puppet for Bush, thinks that by stiffening the laws for marijuana in Canada will some how help the drug problem. Instead it will only fill the coffers of the his neo con partners to the south. Thus the real reason for the Afghan invasion?

  30. Anonymous on

    im really starting to hate my country because of harper and the fuck head conservatives. my last bit of patriotism just flew out the window!

  31. LindaSpeaks on

    Seriously? Mandatory minimums have not worked in the US, what makes you think they will in Canada? I guarantee the junkie who would steal from his mother to get high does NOT think about consequences. Legalizing marijuana would free up the resources to get help for those on the real problem drugs. Canada is taking a huge step backwards, fueled by politicians who perceive themselves as superior to the general populace and therefore able to ignore the will of the majority, dictating what they can or cannot do in the privacy of their own homes. It is a sad day for freedom. BTW, Marc Emory was not pursued or charged by Canadian law, it was control freaks in the DEA in MY country who charged him, and millions of us Americans disagreed with the tactics used and the results.

  32. Anonymous on

    Well “troll Judge Judy” after such a powerful statement i’d like to say to you…
    IGNORANCE IS A BLISS !!!!!

  33. Judge Judy on

    Mandatory sentencing reduces crime and is fair for criminals because it ensures uniformity in sentencing. Potential criminals and repeat offenders are expected to avoid crime because they can be certain of their sentence if they are caught.

    You know, crime doesn’t pay and it will catch up with you in the end, just ask Marc Emery.

  34. Markus on

    Please proofread. There are TONS of grammar/spelling mistakes in this article.

  35. Anonymous on

    Is there any reason as to why we are keeping these criminals in charge alive? I am certinaly one who is pro-life, but with sub-HUMANS writing laws like this, I think it is time to second my stance. These are laws that will RUIN lives of those who are prosecuted under such SUPPRESSIVE and INHUMAN laws….But as crooks be crooks…I would certinaly smile brightly if each and every last shitstain in the conservative government just started taking BULLETS TO THE HEAD :) Even though an eye for an eye may make the whole world blind…that inadvertanly is such a great clause in consideration of those who will no longer be able to write such suppressive laws…..I really wonder if it has ever crossed their minds that this plant HAS A RIGHT TO BE FREE!!!

    Until such happens…I would greatly encourage the “disappearance” of these criminals in moments charge. I say that happly, and still a conformer to pro-life….The people writting such inhuman and suppressive laws are obviously not PRO LIFE…so I think the people of Canada should award their efforts with bullets that have names :) FUCK THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT!!!!! THEY ARE THE BIGGEST CRIMINALS IN THIS COUNTRY!