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Prohibition Never Works by Kristen Mann

By admin | January 5, 2010

Bill C-15 is harmful legislation about to be passed by our government. Corporate owned media across the country has repeatedly ignored or under-reported the flaws of this law, offering next to no coverage on the new Americanization of our justice system. December 2nd we had another PHONE JAM. In conjunction with student lead rallies across the country put on by CSSDP, this event followed our increasingly popular September 14th PHONE JAM. Our baby grew into a national campaign promoted by Cannabis Culture and Why Prohibition. Senators from across the county were shocked to discover that our nation’s cannabis activists were not impressed with the progression of C-15 through the houses of government, and knew they knew where to voice their concerns. All day on Sept 14th Canadian citizens placed hundreds, possibly thousands, of phone calls into the senators. Many of us also wrote impassioned emails and letters to these governing officials. When the sun came up the next day, they started again. The instant ability to educate members of government from home, resonated with thepublic. Everyone concerned about these mandatory minimum jail sentences was encouraged to phone until the Senate voted NO on Bill C-15. Senate is supposed to act as the “sober second voice” to balance the political posturing in the House of Commons. They took 6 months, and 13 committee hearings, to settle on amending the bill and sending it back to the House of Commons for further consideration. They ended up making some rather questionable amendments. Although they removed the mandatory minimums for cannabis growers in rural areas that are growing less than 200 plants in their own home, they left MMS in for growing as little as 1 plant in a rental, or residential neighbourhood. This obviously biases the law against those in a lower income bracket that are likely to live in rentals. For homeowners, their property can be a forfeiture under the CDSA to the federal government. They have basically given cultivators the choice between losing their home or losing their freedom. A bill in Canada must pass both houses with the same wording in order for it to become law, so the Liberal opposition has the opportunity to side with the NDP and the Bloc, and vote NO again. If they fail this, it will return for a third and final reading in Senate, and then be signed into law by the Governor General. MMS lead to unfair sentences being imposed, often against the will and discretion of learned judges, filling our prisons with low level drug offenders. Although they have professed this as anti-gang legislation, David Bratzer—active Victoria Police Officer, previous convention speaker, and member of

LEAP—points out that when it comes to drug kingpins and gangs, “you’re talking about a profession where people accept a risk of being murdered, execution-style, as an occupational hazard. How is a mandatory minimum sentence going to deter a person who already accepts the risk of being shot and having their body dumped in a car?” Mandatory minimum sentencing (MMS) for drug crimes will decimated the legal system with overloaded prisons, constant appeals, and powerless judges, all leading to large expenses. Legalization and regulation of the drug trade is the only way to reign in gang violence. Calling is so easy, dial 1-800 OCANADA to connect toll free to any government office. Tell them, “I am a Canadian, and a voter, and I use marijuana. I think it is horrifying that my government continues to trample on my rights and freedoms, even after the Senate found, back in 2002, that cannabis should be taxed and regulated. Please listen to the voice of the people and vote NO! on C15!” I am so proud of the cannabis community for standing up for their liberties. Beginning in January, we will be extending our plea for help to the celebrity community. Our government has continued to

say that they need to listen to public opinion. We hope that enlisting some star power will help our cause. We will be having a revolving PHONE JAM throughout January where we call a different philanthropic celebrity and explain to them how legalizing cannabis and ending the War on Drugs would help promote their cause. Each new celebrity name will be revealed the day before their office is jammed as to prevent them from finding out before hand and preparing. Check the webpage for updates on who we are jammingthat day. Our first student will be David Suzuki, on January 1st. He has recently been promoting that humans consume genetically modified soy to receive their essential Omega 3,6, 9 while hemp naturally produces all of theses fats. I hope you will all join in for what promises to be a very interesting campaign.

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