MPs Call for Drug User 'Safe Sites'

MPs Call for Drug User 'Safe Sites'
Posted by CN Staff on December 09, 2002 at 11:43:15 PT
By The Canadian Press
Source: Toronto Star 
Heroin addicts in major cities should have safe-injection sites and needle-exchange programs, says a Liberal-dominated parliamentary committee.The special parliamentary committee on the non-medical use of drugs also said today that two prisons should be converted into treatment centres for inmates. It urges creation of a national drug strategy to ease the human toll caused by illicit drugs.
In total, the all-party committee makes 39 recommendations.Its members spent 18 months and $500,000 on studies and consultations.The MPs are also expected to call for more liberal marijuana laws when they report again Thursday.Not all committee members agreed on the recommendations.Canadian Alliance MP Randy White, vice-chairman of the panel, said the proposals aid rather than cure heroin addiction.So-called "harm-reduction" measures such as safe-injection sites and needle exchanges are wrong-headed, he said in a statement."They will maintain a chemical dependency to dangerous and illicit drugs over a much longer period of time."Health Canada pre-empted the committee last week when it issued guidelines for how safe-injection drug sites would operate at pilot sites, likely in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. White toured similar programs in Europe, he said."I saw human carnage for blocks, as well as a substantial gathering of addicts and pushers in the areas where trafficking and using were reluctantly permitted."Other committee recommendations include:— Creating a national drug commissioner to track implementation of a new drug strategy and report to Parliament.— National drug surveys.— More study of prescription drug use.— Seizing the property of drug dealers and using the proceeds for treatment programs.— More funding for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. Note: Commons committee recommends radical rethink of narcotic policy.Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)Published: December 09, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Toronto Star Contact: lettertoed Website: Related Article & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Laws Need Massive Overhaul: Committee
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Comment #9 posted by cltrldmg on December 10, 2002 at 10:31:21 PT
~The Kerry Report this it?
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Comment #8 posted by p4me on December 10, 2002 at 08:03:54 PT
A big difference between The US and Canada
The biggest difference between us and Canada is that the US government is actively involved in the drug trade itself. The cocaine seizures are more to get the assets of the non-approved CIA dealers and allow the approved dealers to funnel money so they can overthrow governments and such.Remember the Kerry Commission that studied the situation back in 1988 and Kerry himself was shocked to find our government involved in the drug trade. His comment is probably still up on the web. There was a guy that was going to put the Kerry Report up on the web in three parts but I have not heard it mentioned but once and I lost the link when I erased my hard drive. Most of these reports were destroyed somehow and it would have been something had it made it to the net.The drug wars are a joke. The government is in on it all the way as seen in the link that GCW put up yesterday; I know people are busy but if you have not read the articles that flat out say that the US government is involved in the drug trade then you are missing the biggest reality of them all. Canada does not use drug money to overthrow governments but the US does. However strongly Canadians feel the biker gangs must be subdued, we as Americans should feel multiple times in regard to ending the US governments role in the drug trade.And of course if there was a decent media in the US everyone would already know the dirty deeds of the CIA from South Central Los Angeles to Mena. The American people are being fiddled on many things including the Iraq War and the WOSD. There are systemic breakdowns of government and the media in the US, while the Candian press acts as a guardian against government corruption and their government is responsive to the wishes of the people.Could you please do a $4.20 today and send a message. Sending emails to a Congressman won't do any good as they did not even read the Patriot Act.1
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Comment #7 posted by Doobinie on December 10, 2002 at 06:37:43 PT
BigDawg and 420toker
Thank you for acknowledging that Canada is different from the U.S. I think that this is probably the greatest source of my hope, in this case. I guess my hope is similar to those who could see that the end of alcohol prohibition was coming. And please note that I am not saying this in a condescending manner. I just believe, as we all do, that the US government is misguided in its approach to drug policy, and that the Canadian government is much closer to what we collectively believe: Free the Weed! Because Canada's population is so much smaller, and that our media actually serves as a scrutinizing force in the affairs of our government, it is very difficult for our government to get away with anything. If they said that seizures from drug dealers would go to fund treatment, they would find it very difficult to put it anywhere else. If you look through archives of Canadian newspapers for the last year or two, you will see that the government has been 'under the public microscope', if you will. They have been blasted (busted) for so much 'waste' of taxpayers dollars that they walk a very fine ethical line (see Hotel Grand-mere, HRDC Boondoggle, medical marijuana, and most recently, the gun registry, just off the top of my head). I say all this to address 420toker's concerns, which are legitimate considering his experience. Also, in the case that 420toker mentioned above, where someone's house is seized because the son had some drugs: this would never happen in Canada, and if it did, you would see a HUGE public outcry. I think that a more likely reason for this proposal is to deal with Canada's grave problems with Biker Gangs. Biker Gangs essentially control the drug trade in this country. This has fuelled biker wars that have killed civilians. This is Candians' biggest problem with drugs: the organized crime. If the government allows people to grow for themselves (as will purportedly be recommended by the commons committee this week), many will no longer associate with the criminal element. This solves a lot for starters. Also, if they license dealers, biker gangs, if they do not qualify for a license and continue to sell drugs, will have their assets seized, which is a good thing.BigDawg- I see your point about not seizing bootleggers' assets. The difference that I see is that it is no longer a warranted measure, as so few bootleg. Alcohol production was taken from the hands of Al Capone and his buddies a very long time ago. Though there are some, who really buys from a bootlegger anymore? In the case of drug dealing being in the hands of criminals, I would see property seizure as being necessary for a time, and this time would pass. Also, even though growing weed is presently a criminal activity in Canada, people have been caught with up to 200 plants and received nothing more than a slap on the wrist. As it stands, I wouldn't even worry about having my property seized now, or even face any kind of jail time, for that matter. If anything, the government would probably enforce this measure as an incentive for people to buy their weed from the government, so it can be taxed heavily. I know that this might be painful for American eyes to read, but I would have no problem paying taxes on weed to know that I can trust the source 8^)(again, see public scrutiny). Oh, and I wanted to mention that I brew too. So nice to meet someone with whom I share multiple interests: weed and beer 8^).I thank you both for responding to my post. I have greatly enjoyed the banter. Maybe someday, we will be able to enjoy this kind of conversation over a huge blunt in a café or pub, on North American soil! Ah, to dream...Love, Peace and Cheer to both of you.Doobinie in Soviet Canuckistan
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Comment #6 posted by BigDawg on December 09, 2002 at 14:51:16 PT
I see your point. Canada is quite different than the U.S. What makes me worry is that this wreaks of U.S. B.S. and, at least down here, it would likely be turned against us. If the Canadian gov't decriminalizes MJ (and possibly other drugs) then I can see a reason to have a law that targets illegal/unlicensed sellers, but property seizure opens a dangerous can of worms. It turns into greed based operations. I understand the reasons for laws against selling without a license. Alcohol is legal and it is against the law to sell without proper paperwork (for health, tax, and other reasons), but nobody suggests seizing the property of bootleggers. I brew my own beer, even though I rarely drink, but I have no fear that the authorities might kick in my door and claim I'm selling it because I have a cabinet full of glasses, then seize my home with a greedy smile. But I *would* worry if I grew my own smoke in a decriminalized zone and there were such laws as presented here.
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Comment #5 posted by 420toker on December 09, 2002 at 13:13:07 PT
Another lie
Our state got a lottery passed under the auspices that the profits go directly to our money ailing school districts. 10 years later they are still ailing. The reason is that modifier bills were passed that diverted the money everywhere (including the further growing the lottery) except to the schools.
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Comment #4 posted by 420toker on December 09, 2002 at 13:08:56 PT
The problem
Its not about wether non-legal suppliers should or should not be punished for a crime. It is about the highly unorthidox method of seizing property (which may or may not actually belong to the criminal) and selling it or using it as they see fit. Why not keep it simple and use a fine of jail time. Here in Texas they seize the stuff that is associated in any way to that person, and then require all the actual owners to come in and first prove its theirs and then prove it was never used in any illegle activities. This is almost impossible. It also results in police specifically targeting wealthy people for cammando style raids in land grab attempts. How would you like it if your 300K home just got seized because your son bought a bag of blow from the neighbor kid.
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Comment #3 posted by Doobinie on December 09, 2002 at 12:53:38 PT
I think that I would respectfully disagree
Dear BigDawg and 420toker,Though I understand your suspicions that this might just be another indication that the government is trying to profit from prohibition, it might sugggest something else.If you notice, the committee has not yet presented its recommendations on liberalizing marijuana laws, though they are scheduled to on Thursday. What this suggests to me is that they may recommend that the government regulate the sales of marijuana (kind of like what they had proposed in Nevada), or possibly even all drugs, and that "Seizing the property of drug dealers and using the proceeds for treatment programs" may in fact be a way of saying: 'Anyone who is not a legitimate (legally permitted) provider of drugs could have their assets seized (i.e. not the government or government licensed dealers).' I know that this consists of the government becoming our drug dealer, but in a democracy, the government is technically the 'employee', whereas the public is the 'employer'. WE hire THEM. I think that the Canadian Federal Government is waking up to this reality, as the public becomes increasingly educated and informed, and as our media intensifies its scrutiny. I know that our government is VERY aware of polls, and that in the interest of political self-preservation, they are taking heed of the mood of the people. The Liberals have, after all, been in power for almost 10 years. They must be doing something right. "If the people want to smoke weed, then let them smoke weed." is what I am expecting to hear quite soon. I know that this may seem quite optimistic. Well, it is! I can see that the winds are changing in Canada, and I am hopeful. Forces beyond us are conspiring, and I believe that the captives will soon be set free. Time will tell.Love and Peace to all of you,Doobinie in Soviet Canuckistan 
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Comment #2 posted by 420toker on December 09, 2002 at 12:07:45 PT
Yea it doesn't do anthing but buy more police toys here
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Comment #1 posted by BigDawg on December 09, 2002 at 12:04:10 PT
"Seizing the property of drug dealers and using the proceeds for treatment programs."Progress... or a sly move?
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