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Old 05-24-2013, 09:10 AM
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Default Report calls for decriminalizing both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs

Coalition of drug policy experts denounces Ottawa’s aggressive war on drugs

OTTAWA — The personal use of illegal drugs, including heroin and crack cocaine, should be decriminalized as part of a federal-provincial strategy to tackle drug abuse, a B.C.-based national coalition of drug policy experts argue.

In a report to be released Thursday, the coalition denounces the Harper government’s aggressive war on drugs, which puts the emphasis on law enforcement while steering money away from harm-reduction initiatives like Vancouver’s supervised injection site.

“While countries all around the world are adopting forward-thinking, evidence-based drug policies, Canada is taking a step backwards and strengthening punitive policies that have been proven to fail,” states a summary of the 112-page report from the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, which is based at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction.

The “stunning display of unimaginative thinking” has failed to decrease the flow of drugs into Canada while hampering efforts to deal with drug-related health problems.

“Despite Canada’s significant investment in drug control efforts, drugs are cheaper and more available than ever,” the report notes.

Among the recommendations is a call to legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana to adults, taking advantage of an underground business that generates an estimated $357 million in annual sales in B.C. alone, according to the authors.

By far the most controversial recommendation calls for the end to prohibition of not only “soft” drugs like marijuana, but products like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines.

The report notes that at least 25 jurisdictions in the world have moved to decriminalize at least some drugs, with Portugal (in 2001) and the Czech Republic (in 2010) ending criminal bans for all drugs.

“After decriminalization and similar to Portugal, drug use (among Czechs) has not increased significantly but the social harms of drug use have declined,” the report stated.

“In Portugal, decriminalization has had the effect of decreasing the numbers of people injecting drugs, decreasing the number of people using drugs problematically, and decreasing trends of drug use among 15 to 24 year olds.”

The coalition lists as its “partners” more than 70 organizations, including the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, the Central Alberta AIDS Network Society, the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network, and the Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.

Its report is harshly critical of the federal government’s anti-drug and tough-on-crime policies introduced since Stephen Harper became prime minister in 2006, including minimum mandatory sentences for certain drug offences.

Among the targets is the five-year National Anti-Drug Strategy, which was renewed for another five years in 2012 at a cost of $528 million. The program devotes most of its money (roughly 70 per cent) to law enforcement, according to the report.

It also goes after the Canadian Forces’ substantial investment in counter-narcotics missions in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific, involving warships and aircraft operating with U.S. forces.

It complains about the lack of support of, and in the case of the Vancouver supervised injection site aggressive opposition to, “harm-reduction” programs like needle exchanges that “save lives and protect everyone’s health,” according to the Newfoundland AIDS Committee.

The Harper government has never flinched from its strong support for get-tough measures against drug offences, often sneering at academic studies suggesting that its measures, while popular among many Conservative party supporters, had debatable or even counterproductive results.

In 2007, for instance, then-health minister Tony Clement declared that the “party’s over” while speaking of his party’s contempt for the former Liberal government’s approach to illicit drug use.

The coalition report cites 2011 Health Canada statistics indicating that B.C. has the highest percentage of people who have used marijuana at least once in their lives, with the B.C. rate of 44.3 per cent well above the national average of 39.4 per cent.

Health Canada said 12.1 per cent of British Columbians said they smoked pot over the past year, second to Nova Scotia’s 12.4 per cent and well above the national average of 9.1 per cent.

Poneil@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/poneilinottawa

Read my blog, Letter from Ottawa, at vancouversun.com/oneil

Read more: Report calls for decriminalizing both
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:14 AM
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Jezz! Legalize already! I really hate posting these stupid news feeds on "will they wont they!" I rather post about pyramid power or aliens or some such shit.... Anything but drug politics!
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother ShaBooBoo View Post
Jezz! Legalize already! I really hate posting these stupid news feeds on "will they wont they!" I rather post about pyramid power or aliens or some such shit.... Anything but drug politics!
Ahh,but you do such a good job!

MotherShaBooBoo,prime cabinet minister of public relations at Mr.Nice!

Nahnah,all kidding aside this is some serious stuff.Safe injection sites are a social necessity(for health reasons),but if full on legalisation(of hard drugs that is) reflects the interest of the people.........so be it.

The liberal party is using marijuana as a trump card...we'll see how that plays out.

I know for a fact I wouldn't want to see my beloved maryjane up there with all kinds of social no-nos;
----Drugs,needles,pipes and torches.-Alcohol,opulent evenings and social mischief/disregard.-Pornography,religion and lewd "behavior"-Tobacco,unjust taxes and corruption through marketing-Guns,violence and a"justifiable" evil ---

...these are all things that people fight or fight for,they fight for their(our) government to allow and preserve.(or banish altogether)

I like to think it will take a very progressive approach to marketing marijuana. Decriminalisation sounds like a sound approach to me! Don't be lulled into thinking taxing it and making it legal will make it cheaper!
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:24 PM
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nice I never even knew the Czech Republic decriminalized drugs it only makes sense too. you can't put someone in prison cause they like a drug that's on this earth since before mankind god rules the world not man. we all have one life not a very long one for a lot but to take years from a mans life to live in a cage when all they did was use a drug.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:29 PM
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Sigh....I wonder if Canada will ever recover from this BOZO and his ship of fools.
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Old 05-24-2013, 02:23 PM
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Yes everyone makes valid points but is that article anywhere as entertaining as when Taxidermy goes tragically wrong?

The Freak Kitten by Walter Potter



In 1731 the Swedish king received a lion as a gift from the Bey of Algiers, and sent it to a taxidermist who had never seen a living lion. The poor man had just the pelt and the bones to work from.



A Leopard from the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in Tours, France



These animals are high or stoned?








Damn that shits funny!
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:57 PM
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I always knew necrophiliacs have a twisted sense of humor
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:41 AM
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It's totally bad taste I know tapioca, But I think of the hunter showing off his prize to his friends and his friends thinking "Dude you shot a bear with down syndrome?" It's funny when I was stoned


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