Conservatives Pressure Senate Liberals To Pass Mandatory Minimum Sentences Bill

Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson lashed out at the Senate today, accusing them of acting too slow on Bill C-15, the controversial drug bill which includes mandatory minimums for marijuana.Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson lashed out at the Senate today, accusing them of acting too slow on Bill C-15, the controversial drug bill which includes mandatory minimums for marijuana.CANNABIS CULTURE – Conservative Justice Minister Rob Nicholson lashed out at the Senate today, accusing them of blocking the Conservatives so called “law and order’ agenda.

Nicholson specifically targeted the Senate for failing to act fast enough on C-15, the Conservatives’ bill that includes mandatory minimum prison terms for drug offenses and has been almost universally criticized by criminal justice experts. The bill, which took more than 14 weeks to pass the House of Commons, has been in the Senate for less than two weeks and has already passed First Reading.

Despite the passing of the bill by Liberals in the house, Senate Liberals seem to be standing up to the Conservative bullying.

“They want to appear to be tough on crime,” Senate Opposition Leader James Cowan said. “If they were really serious about this, they would have introduced these bills at the beginning of the session and processed them through the House and gotten them to us before the end of the session.”

Cowan said other bills have taken several months to pass the House, but Nicholson is demanding they pass the Senate in only two or three days.

“We’re not going to be pushed into doing that,” Cowan said, suggesting the Conservatives are trying to distract attention away from the economy and the isotope shortage.

Critics of the bill say evidence overwhelming shows mandatory minimums simply don’t work, can be extremely expensive to enforce, and cause more harm than good.

“Rob Nicholson has ignored the preponderance of scientific evidence and international experience, and now he is ignoring the Constitution”, said Kirk Tousaw, Executive Director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation. “C-15 has profound implications for our criminal justice system and provincial budgets, the Senate has a constitutional obligation to study the implications of this bill, especially considering that the Conservatives did not.”

Bill C-15 proposes mandatory minimum sentences for various drug crimes and uses broad language such as including sharing a joint as trafficking. Of the 16 experts called to testify on C-15, 13 called for the outright dismissal of the bill. When prompted, the Conservatives declined to provide evidence for the bill, and instead accused the opposition of being soft on crime.

“Why does this government have an unlimited budget for failed crime policies, but no money for prevention or harm reduction?” asked Jacob Hunter, Policy Director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, “The Conservatives are taking Canada down a dangerous path to score cheap political points. Nobody voted for that.“

Prohibition reform activists say the bill fails to seriously combat higher-level drug dealers and instead target low-level dealers and users.

“The Conservative Party wants to appear tough on crime, but is in reality attacking young people, throwing them in jail instead of funding their education” said Marc Emery, leader of the BC Marijuana Party, “Stephen Harper is ignoring the more than 50% of Canadians who support marijuana legalization at his peril, Canadians do not support this radical Conservative agenda”.

Marc Emery has been under an extradition order since 2004 when US authories, assisted by the Vancouver Police, arrested Emery on charges of seed distribution. In May, Emery announced he would be pleading guilty in order to secure a deal which would see him face 5 years in a US jail.

“For Rob Nicholson to attempt to push through a bill he could not produce a single piece of evidence to support is absurd”, Emery said, “The Conservative Party may take it’s cues from the Republicans, but thankfully, the Senate does not”.

How To Stop Bill C-15

Please call or email your Senators and tell them to vote NO! on BILL C-15

Click here for a list of all Canadian Senators – click names for contact info.

WhyProhibition has added emailers for each Province, simply click on your Province or Territory of to email your Senators to demand they vote No on C-15.

If your province or Territory isn’t listed, it means we don’t have any members from your area! Login or Register and get your friends to do the same, we want to have every City, Electoral District, Region, Territory and Province represented before the next election!

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Newfoundland and Labrador

You can also call Senate Leader James Cowan’s office, and tell the the Liberals to vote No! on Bill C-15. Leave a message, it’s easy and VERY IMPORTANT! 613-995-4268



  1. Rob on

    My question is what will happen once all the marijuana users are imprisoned? Since the majority of our productive citizens will be locked up, we might as well up any hopes now.My biggest concern is how such a bill that has 0 support from ANYONE I’ve talk about it with(drug users or not), has the potential to make it even this far.

    The whole system has failed us, it really has. In the end, were just voting for a bunch of dickheads, that’s about it. We don’t get a say in any of the matters like this that have huge detrimental effects on our lives, but we can blindly vote these dickheads in, not knowing what they have in store for us. This is why I will NEVER participate in a federal election. even if my vote went to the winner, what am I left with, a fuzzy feeling inside that the person with the best haircut won? Whats the point? I might as well take my ballot and stick it up my ass.

    Sorry, these politicians are as sleazy as crooked mechanics. It’s too bad we can’t tell the good from the bad until it’s too late.

  2. Anonymous on

    … or you could just click on the link provided below the story …

  3. Anonymous on

    Why not attack their points instead of attacking them?

    Oh yeah, because what they’re saying is the truth.

    It doesn’t matter what people do for a living or what your opinion is of them or their marijuana use. What matters is whether or not their arguments are sound, and they are. The science doesn’t support mandatory minimums.

  4. Anonymous on

    A good way to ensure that the Senate sees it this way is to go to and email the letter they have to the Senate representatives in your province.

  5. The Majority on

    Harper doesn’t speak for me, my family, or anyone I know, or have spoken to, for that matter. Bill C-15 is glaringly bad law and I fully expect the Senate to see it as such.

  6. Anonymous on

    That I love you.

    Really, I really do.

    I thought they passed this bullshit bill.

    Seems like there is still hope.

    Mexico, California, Canada

    World wide change might be happening my brothers and sisters


    maybe we won’t need to get paranoid anymore 😛

  7. philipf on

    “I agree. The bill is not moving quickly through the Senate and will not as many of [us] have serious concerns.”

    Senator Sharon Carstairs, former leader of the Liberal Party of Manitoba.

  8. Anonymous on

    Aren’t Kirk Tousaw, Jacob Hunter & Marc Emery a bunch of old stoners who hang around together and lip off at the world ? Tousaw used to be Marks lawyer, and Hunter is a full time pot protest rally organizer.Now they present their stoner views alongside fancy organizations with a membership of one- themselves.

    Are we supposed to believe they are major policy movers who will overgrow then overthrow the government ? they are a blowhard lunch group who think they have magic powers?
    How about no?

  9. Adimus on

    I seem to recall reading a quote from Harper the other day about how he doesn’t think people want to have another election. Well guess what, if you think C-15 is what Canadians want then hell yes I want an election and I think many others would say the same. I certainly don’t want him running this country and would relish the opportunity to vote against him and in support of more logical policies. There are certainly more pressing matters that your government should be addressing. Why are you pushing so hard for the legislation that makes the least sense? Ironic (and depressing) how our minister of justice appears to have no concept of justice.