Canadian Justice Minister Says Marijuana ‘Currency’ Used To Import Harder Drugs

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says people who sell or grow marijuana belong in jail.Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says people who sell or grow marijuana belong in jail.Canada’s justice minister says people who sell or grow marijuana belong in jail because pot is used as a “currency” to bring harder drugs into the country.

“This lubricates the business and that makes me nervous,” Rob Nicholson told the Commons justice committee Wednesday as he faced tough questions about a controversial bill to impose automatic jail and prison sentences for drug crimes, including growing as little as one pot plant.

“Marijuana is the currency that is used to bring other more serious drugs into the country.”

Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act currently contains no mandatory prison sentences and judges use their own discretion about whether to send drug pushers and growers to jail.

But the Conservatives have proposed legislation which would impose one-year mandatory jail time for marijuana dealing, when it is linked to organized crime or a weapon is involved.

The sentence would be increased to two years for dealing drugs such as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines to young people, or pushing drugs near a school or other places frequented by youths.

The proposed legislation would impose six months for growing one to 200 marijuana plants to sell, and two years for big-time growers of 500 plants or more.

The bill is arguably the most controversial piece of justice legislation introduced by the Conservative and critics have warned that, if passed, it could flood prisons and jails.

Opposition critics voiced concerns Wednesday that a crackdown would not only target big-time dealers, but it would end up sending drug addicts to provincial prisons, which have no few treatment programs in place.

New Democrat Libby Davies repeatedly grilled Nicholson on whether he has any evidence that minimum mandatory jail terms reduce crime. Davies cited studies prepared for the Justice Department several years ago showing that automatically jailing drug criminals does nothing to deter crime, as has been shown in the United States.

“Many States are repealing their mandatory minimums,” Davies said.

Nicholson declined to supply any evidence to the contrary, but he insisted that “we are absolutely convinced in our consultation with Canadians that this is welcomed across the country.”

There are already more than two dozen minimum prison terms in the Criminal Code, mainly for murder and offences involving firearms.

Nicholson also faced questioning from the Bloc Quebecois on why the Conservatives want to impose minimum jail terms for marijuana, when many of the people who sell it and grow it are small-time criminals.

The move to jail pot pushers and growers “sends a strong message” that is a far cry from an initiative of the former Liberal government to decriminalize marijuana possession, Nicholson said.

As a result of the Liberal actions, Canadians remain confused about the legal status of smoking marijuana, he said.

Nicholson’s bill, introduced two months ago, is similar to one the Conservatives tabled in late 2007, which died when the Oct. 14 general election was called.

– Article from CanWest News on April 22, 2009.

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  435. Anonymous on

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  440. Anonymous on

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    CANADA’S JUSTICE MINISTER ADVOCATES REEFER MADNESS

    ——————————————————————

    DrugSense FOCUS Alert #401 – Thursday, 23 April 2009

    Today Canadian newspapers are reporting that “Canada’s justice minister says people who sell or grow marijuana belong in jail because pot is used as a “currency” to bring harder drugs into the country. “This lubricates the business and that makes me nervous,” Rob Nicholson told the Commons justice committee yesterday as he faced tough questions about a controversial bill to impose automatic prison sentences for drug crimes, including growing as little as one pot plant. “Marijuana is the currency that is used to bring other more serious drugs into the country,” the minister said.”

    Links to some of the newspaper articles are

    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09.n454.a09.html
    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09.n455.a01.html
    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09.n455.a02.html
    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09.n455.a04.html
    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09.n455.a05.html
    http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v09.n455.a06.html

    News about marijuana from Canada may always be accessed at http://www.mapinc.org/mjcn.htm

    Letter to the editor writers from the United States should note that Canadian newspapers print your letters frequently.

    For all the information about the bill, C-15, to include the text and major speeches in Parliament see http://drugsense.org/url/hwWsxW6O

    Canadians who which to contact your Member of Parliament about this bill by using your Postal Code to obtain contact information see http://drugsense.org/url/nMP9kfsJ

    ————————————————————–

    PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER

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    To subscribe to the Sent LTE mailing list see

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    Suggestions for writing LTEs are at our Media Activism Center

    http://www.mapinc.org/resource/#guides

    —————————————————————-

    Prepared by: Richard Lake, Senior Editor http://www.mapinc.org

  441. Fifteenbux on

    Canadians… Welcome to America(and our BS drug laws)

  442. Anonymous on

    I used to think they were, but now I know they’re really sick in the head! Did you see him in committee? He was just about begging for support! Why? Can you imagine the type of people who would beg for the right to punish others? Wow!

  443. Anonymous on

    “Marijuana is the currency that is used to bring other more serious drugs into the country.”
    What a fucking tool. As we all know, The only reason marijuana is worth so much is because of prohibition. The conservatives will say anything to try and terrorize Canadians over the drug issue. This is not about public safety it’s about controlling the public. Legalize Now!
    Fuck Harper and his NWO fascist agenda!

  444. JC on

    “why in the hell are these dummies trying to pass these laws in canada when we here in the states are on the verge of gettin rid of laws like these.”

    I think you may have answered your own question there. In my opinion, this hard push to persecute and imprison peaceful, small-time cannabis-marijuana growers and consumers really seemed to begin in earnest once it was apparent that the American Conservatives were likely going to lose the election.
    There is no fact or scientific basis to the reasoning behind this bill (C-15) – currently, a majority of Canadian citizens agree that cannabis-marijuana should be decriminalized, but Harper, Nicholson (er, it’s not harmful – it’s “currency”?!) and friends think that cultivating *one* plant should warrant you a mandatory six-months in prison…yes, let’s turn an individuals life upside-down over a single, natural, non-addictive, non-carcinogenic plant – one that’s considerably less harmful than beer. This Neo-Con crusade is all driven by the same type of stale, backwards ideology that most Americans rightly voted out in disgust.

  445. Willy on

    I am 49 years old and I like smoking pot, I don’t do other drugs, I do not drink, but if morons like this Rob Nicholson goof take peoples pot away how many will start drinking and/or move on to something harder, I likely will. How will Canada’s health care system handle all the extra alcoholics and addicts? little bobby nicholson is a closed minded dinosaur and I would die before I would vote for the conservative party!

  446. maybe i'm stupid on

    why in the hell are these dummies trying to pass these laws in canada when we here in the stases are on the verge of gettin rid of laws like these. the US has been repealing rockefeller drugs laws passing med pot right and left and seems due to the violence cauesed by prohabition on the verge of legalizing marijuana it seems goerge bush has moved to canada. canada get rid of these fools prohabition DON’T work

  447. Anonymous on

    SERIOUSLY MORE HARM THEN GOOD COMES OF IT, LETTING LOSERS GET AWAY WITH KIDNAPPING CHILDREN!!!! AND MURDER PEOPLE AND THE KIDS!!!

    CONSERVATIVES SUCK OBAMA’S COCK!!!

    AND LOVE ANAL SEX FROM HIM!!!

    And attacking responsible pot users that pay there taxes and work there asses off. FUCK YOU STEPHEN HARPER SUPPORTERS!!!!

  448. Anonymous on

    …Go to Afghanistan instead and push these useless laws there instead losers!

    I wish the conservative party goes to afghanistan and dies!!!! Including the piece of shit trying to push such dumb laws.

    USA is only repealing the DEA raids on dispensaries in those 13 states ONLY! So you’ll end up dead and arrested anyways in any other state!

    FUCK OFF CONSERVATIVE POLITICS!!!

  449. Anonymous on

    Stop targeting normal citizens that self medicate. And do not do hard drugs or import them, hell majority of us don’t even use guns.

    I swear we do not support violence nor endorse children or youths to do weed.

    It’s always gangs and mexican cartels doing this. Fucking up the economy. Even irresponsible adults teach children and youths how to smoke weed and violence.

    The baby boomers in politics are saying go ahead 12 year old smoke up. It’s wrong and stupid to imprison responsible tax paying citizens.

    Prohibition only makes gangs, mexican cartels and other scum of the Earth stronger.

    I DO NOT SUPPORT VIOLENCE, GANGS OR TERRORISTS!!! And USA with legalized guns man your all stupid in politics.

  450. Anonymous on

    “..Nicholson declined to supply any evidence to the contrary, but he insisted that “we are absolutely convinced in our consultation with Canadians that this is welcomed across the country.”

    Nicholson makes a statement like that without offering any evidence to support it? Current Angus-Reid polls show that over 60% of Canadians would support the legalization of marijuana.

    Clearly the Minister is gathering his ‘facts’ from fantasy land.

  451. TAS on

    If Canadians want a Bush type of goverment . Then keep voting conservative.Look up the meaning in the dictionary and you will see why they are a threat to freedom.Harper and his men and women need to be taken out of power.

  452. bubner on

    Gen-X R.N. here.
    I’ll change them for you then we’ll smoke a fattie.
    Nicolson and Harper can change each others since there both full of shit.

  453. Brian Kerr on

    I am a Pot somking baby boomer. I would like to see all drugs legal.

    Aw jeez now I have to change my depends.

    http://www.leap.cc

  454. Harrison Mckay on

    This makes me want to move to the states in the U.S. because I SOLD Cannabis BEFORE and I wasnt linked to any organized crime and I never had a firearm and I am NOT one of the Canadians that will welcome something like this into are country the Conservatives dont know what there talking about I cant wait intill the baby boomers are out of office and the new generation takes over im sick of Prime Minister
    Harper he is so plain I dont even know how he was elected I hope Canada will follow some of the states in the U.S and loosen up on Cannabis Im not saying lets start selling crack to kids and sell herion like cigarettes in stores but lets at least try this with Cannabis because no one ever O.D. on Cannabis but people die from alcohol, prescribed pills and die slowly from cigarettes this is the 21st century so lets try something new Canada

  455. Anonymous on

    wow i never thaught id agree with the bloc on something. It just goes to show u what a peice of trash this bill is. imagine all the small time growers who grow for themselves and maybe a few friends in jail, It would break the courts and force everybody to by from gangs which no real pot smoker wants to do, most pot smokers would like to see the end of these horrible gangs. this turd of a bill will only make them stronger.