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By Hempology | December 13, 2007

Friday, Dec 7, 2007
For Immediate Release:

Victoria, B.C.: Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants everyone growing cannabis for sale to go to jail for no less than six months. The Federal Conservative government has introduced legislation into the House of Commons that would see mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of cannabis offences. The moral minority is in charge.

On Monday Dec 17, rallies will be held at noon at MP offices across Canada to protest Bill C-26. The International Hempology 101 Society will be organizing protests at the offices of Conservative MP Gary Lunn in Sidney and NDP MP Denise Savoie in Victoria. Liberal MP Dr. Keith Martin will join NDP MP Denise Savoie at the Victoria rally, to be held at the downtown library beside her constituency office.
The NDP has opposed Bill C-26, and Denise will explain her position on the proposed laws and how the NDP supports drug policy reform and drug abuse prevention programs over mandatory minimum sentences. We can expect her to make statements similar to those made by her colleague, MP Libby Davies, who writes, “The only problem is, as history and reality shows us, this heavy handed reliance on law enforcement is not only a failure; it is a colossal failure, economically, socially, and culturally. Law enforcement regarding drugs typically targets low level dealers and users, and ironically re-enforces the monopoly of organized crime and the drug kingpins, who either escape enforcement or are in the best position to negotiate deals. In 1994, 28% of Canadians reported they had used illicit drugs. By 2004 the percentage had risen to 45. Clearly enforcement has had little or no impact; quite the contrary, in fact, as drug use has increased.?

On of the main reasons MP Dr. Keith Martin left the Conservatives to join the Liberals was their zeal for the drug war. “The groups that benefit the most from the status quo, from marijuana being illegal, and it is just a weed with its value elevated well beyond what it ought to be because it is illegal, are the organized crime gangs. They are making billions of dollars off the status quo, and those billions are used to do any number of things including: trafficking of weapons and people, prostitution, embezzlement, fraud and murder.? On April 20, 2007, Dr. Martin introduced private member’s Bill-431 in an attempt to decriminalize the possession of cannabis.

The mandatory minimums proposed in Bill C-26 include 6 months for anyone caught with a single plant for sale, or 9 months if the plant was grown in a residential neighborhood, on rental property of if a minor was present. With over 500 plant and any of those 3 conditions, the mandatory minimum is 3 years. The maximum sentence for cultivating cannabis is doubled to 14 years. Mandatory minimums of 1 year will be given to anyone caught selling over 3 kg of cannabis as part of an organized group (5 people or more) or convicted of trafficking over 3 kg of cannabis or resin in the past 10 years.

For more information see or call 250-381-4220.

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