The Harper Cons, who never met a prison they didn't like to fill, are back with their mandatory imprisonment pot bill. Renters caught with just six plants (although, in fairness, I really don't know how much pot that is) face a minimum 9-month sentence. Of course Harper is a firm believer in his American Idol, George w. Bush's "ownership society" so you only get slammed up for 9-months if you're a lowly tenant, not a homeowner.
Aside from the obvious offence of being "just" a renter, other aggravating factors include finding a gun on the premises (that one makes sense), whether the location is unsafe and whether the pot plants posed a danger to residents in a residential neighbourhood.
While I favour Paul Martin's proposal for the limited decriminalization of pot, I think it's ludicrous to scrap judicial discretion in cases of small-scale pot growing. What is it going to achieve other than providing another red meat issue for Harper to toss to his law'n odour fans?
Any Liberal leader who can't or won't defend Canada's judicial system against these redneck punks should be given a one-way ticket back to wherever he calls home. This ought to have been an issue on which the faux-liberal Liberal Leader could have taken a stand but, instead, the Libs supported Harper in resurrecting the bill. Harvard or no, this character is a total disappointment to anyone who embraces progressive liberalism. With this kind of leadership the LPC deserves to be polling at 26%. They've earned that. If they back mandatory minimum sentences for this, Harper already has them on a well-greased slippery slope.
What about joining Marijuana Party of Canada or Pirate Party of Canada? There agenda seems to be a bit better than three main parties.
Mandatory sentencing. Can only call it what it truly is, the first step on the path toward the northward importation of the New Jim Crow laws.
What's next? Three strikes? Complete loss of civil liberties for mere possession sentences?
Not to be too blunt about it, but the Conservative embrace of Republican drug laws stinks of the embrace of racial politics.
The Libs rolling over on this is the damn near the same as the Libs rolling over on First Nations' rights. A great many people I know would be in prison with these sorts of laws, and I'm afraid a great many people I know will end up in prison because of these laws. They've never committed any sort of real crime in their lives, and they'll end up in jail for complete bs reasons. That ain't right. That ain't right at all.
As a lifelong Liberal it pains me to watch the decline of this once great party. It is not the Liberal Party that originally attracted me. I cannot support it or even accept it any longer. Ignatieff is a chronic bungler. Sure he's bright but his political instincts are horrible and what he has that could be called "vision" is far removed from anything I recognize as Liberal. The IgLibs hold sway but the Canadian public won't buy what they're selling nor should they.
Standing up to support the Cons' mandatory minimum sentences isn't about pot, it's about bringing the Canadian judiciary down a notch or two. They'd do it with the Supreme Court if they could but they're not there yet so they have to content themselves with this nonsense, all with the help of a compliant Ignatieff Liberal Party. It's enough to make any genuine Liberal puke or at least it should be.
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