Bill S-10: My letter to parliament…

To Don Davies, MP for Vancouver Kingsway

Call: (604) 775-6263
Visit: 2951 Kingsway Ave, Vancouver

Mr. Davies, please vote NO for Bill S-10!

Prohibition doesn’t work. History tells us this. Have you been watching the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire”? True to life, it realistically brings home the terrible consequences of substance prohibition. During those times of alcohol prohibition:

  • law enforcement spent excessive taxpayer money with very few good results;
  • criminals profited, profited, profited from underground distribution and sales;
  • those same criminals then influenced/controlled politicians, the political system, and governments with their ill-gotten money;
  • violence increased with criminal efforts to control the newly illegal marketplace;
  • alcohol drinking did not stop (!);
  • more people died from drinking alcohol because of the loss of governmental enforcement of quality controls over the manufacturing of products for sale;
  • casual alcohol drinkers were treated like hardened criminals.

What did Canadians learn from our brief period of alcohol prohibition in the last century? Prohibition creates big business for criminals, big problems for police, governments, and the people, and big debts from enforcement. And it doesn’t have the intended results!

“[In the USA,] despite 25 years of harsh mandatory minimums, disproportionate numbers of the poor, the young, minorities and the drug addicted have been thrown in US jails with no impact on the drug business itself, which has flourished.” ~ from Calgary Herald editorial, Reefer madness: Automatic jail for six pot plants is too harsh, 15 May 2010, p. A12.

Now we want to try enforcing marijuana prohibition using mandatory jail sentences for casual users? Why? It’s a less harmful substance than alcohol or tobacco. So again: why? Is it going to deter casual marijuana use? No! Well then, why?

“In British Columbia, for example, it has been suggested that the province will need to find space in its already crowded jails for approximately 700 more marihuana growers each year. According to Darryl Plecas, a criminologist at the University of the Fraser Valley, the measures will make necessary the construction of a new prison, and BC Corrections spokesperson Lisa Lapointe has stated that provincial correctional centres, where most of the marihuana growers will end up, are at capacity.” ~ from the Legislative Summary of Bill S-10

Prohibition will not be worth the enormous costs to our Canadian society. Mandatory jail sentences for minor use of marijuana is a terrible use of taxpayer money. Do we really want to spend it on more policing time, court time, and jail time for the casual marijuana user? We need to keep our jails available for real criminals—those who hurt or kill our relatives and friends, those who make and sell hard drugs to children, etc. Our court system is already overloaded; the real criminals don’t see a court room for months—sometimes years—after their alleged crimes. Prosecuting and jailing people who use small amounts of marijuana will make these situations so much worse. Let’s not spend our enforcement tax dollars on chasing down and prosecuting minor users of marijuana OR on housing them in our already crowded jail system.

Mr. Davies, please vote NO for Bill S-10. Please influence your fellow MPs to do the same. The content of Bill S-10, if passed, would usher Canadians down a new path of costly, self-destructive behaviour, procedures, and laws.

Please read more here:



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