Few Drug Users Going To Jail, Statscan Finds

Few Drug Users Going To Jail, Statscan Finds
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2004 at 09:56:16 PT
By Oliver Moore, Globe and Mail Update 
Source: Globe and Mail 
Surging cannabis possession is landing record numbers of Canadians in court, although few illegal drug users are actually going to jail.Statistics Canada revealed in a report Monday that the number of drug-related offences is at a 20-year high, close to one-10th of criminal trials deal with drug charges and half of these cases result in a guilty verdict. But they also showed that, if convicted of possession, these people have only a slight chance of ending up with a prison sentence.
According to a Statscan, police forces reported 93,000 drug offences in 2002, a 42-per-cent rise over the rate in 1992. Two-thirds of these offences were classified as possession and slightly more than one-fifth related to trafficking. The rest involved import or production.The report shows that adults convicted of drug possession had a 12-per-cent chance of ending up in prison. Young offenders had a 5-per-cent chance of being incarcerated. Traffickers were dealt with more harshly, resulting in prison sentences for one-fifth of young offenders and roughly twice that rate among adult convicts.Young adults aged 18 to 24 had the highest rates of drug offences, followed by those aged 12 to 17.Continuing a 25-year trend, the rate of drug offences was highest in British Columbia. The 2002 rate in B.C. was nearly twice the national average of 295 per 100,000 people. In second place  though the prevalence was only two-thirds that of B.C.  was Saskatchewan. Close behind Saskatchewan was New Brunswick.All provinces showed an increase in drug offences during the decade. New Brunswick reported the greatest increase (134 per cent), followed by Saskatchewan (97 per cent) and Quebec (81 per cent).Nearly three-quarters of all drug charges were related to marijuana. While the number of cannabis-trafficking charges dropped between 1992 and 2002, the total number of cannabis-related offences, driven by surging possession charges among youths and young adults, nearly doubled over the same period. Simple possession accounted for nearly three-quarters of all cannabis-related charges. Overall, more than half of all drug charges laid in 2002 were for possession of marijuana.The numbers released by Statscan on Monday strengthen the argument that chasing pot smokers is a drain on police resources.Reformers who argue that marijuana is not harmful enough to be proscribed say that the number of pot charges is a waste of money and unnecessarily criminalizes people who are otherwise law-abiding.On Dec. 24, the Supreme Court rejected the argument that it is unconstitutional to ban marijuana smoking while turning a blind eye to the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use.By a 6-3 majority, the court wiped out the strategy of using the courts to kill marijuana laws and dropped the issue back in Parliament.Statcan Report: Newshawk: afterburnerSource: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author: Oliver Moore, Globe and Mail Update Published: Monday, February 23, 2004 Copyright: 2004 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links To Stop Grow-ops? Legalize Pot Hunter Favours Legalization of Marijuana Still Illegal, Top Court Rules
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on February 23, 2004 at 17:55:53 PT:
Yes, FoM. 
Oops, I forgot the link.BTW: HOW THE NARCS CREATED CRACK by Richard C. Cowan
From National Review Magazine, December 5, 1986 interesting look back at the continuing problem of cannabis prohibition, the lies that maintain it, and the problems caused.
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on February 23, 2004 at 17:46:18 PT
Waste of Time & Money
"According to a Statscan, police forces reported 93,000 drug offences in 2002, a 42-per-cent rise over the rate in 1992."Meanwhile, murderers,rapists,child molesters & thieves have their way. 
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 23, 2004 at 16:02:22 PT
Is this the article?
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Comment #1 posted by afterburner on February 23, 2004 at 15:47:44 PT:
CBC's version. Note: see sidebar
CBC News -
Pot possession most common drug offence: Statistics Canada -
Last Updated Mon, 23 Feb 2004 15:45:49 
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