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War on Drugs

September-October 2011

Why mandatory minimum sentences cost billions—and don’t reduce crime

Graham F. Scott

“We do not use statistics as an excuse not to get tough on criminals.” That was federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson’s astonishing response to Statistics Canada’s finding in July that crime rates in Canada now stand at the same level they did in 1973. Don’t bother us with the facts, was Nicholson’s meaning, our minds […] More »
September-October 2010

Canada deports Mexico’s drug-war refugees, with deadly consequences

Augusta DwyerWebsite

Thousands of Mexicans seek refuge from their country’s gruesome drug wars, but Canada has slammed the door. For some, deportation has been a death sentence The first of Juan Escobedo’s many trials began in 2007 when his common-law wife, Lisbeth, then just 31, was diagnosed with cancer. The couple had four children and little money. […] More »
May-June 2010

Pro-pot lawyer Alan Young preps to fight the next round of drug laws

Alex Consiglio

“This is about the complete failure of democracy,” Alan Young says, munching on his strawberry-jam toast at Sunnybrook Restaurant in Toronto. Young, a criminal lawyer, has been Canada’s forerunning pot reformist since he got a judge to declare that “marijuana is relatively harmless compared to the so-called hard drugs, and including tobacco and alcohol” during […] More »
November-December 2009

Supervised injection sites work—but the feds still don’t get it

Sukaina Hirji

Despite ongoing efforts by the Harper government to shut it down, Insite, the Vancouver-based supervised-injection site, is alive and thriving, with over 10,000 registered users and around 800 daily visitors. To Mark Townsend, an Insite representative, it’s a success story that needs to be replicated in other cities. Established in 2003 as a scientific research […] More »
November-December 2009

Interview: B.C.’s “Prince of Pot,” Marc Emery

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

Unrepentant on the eve of his extradition, B.C.’s Prince of Pot has one message: he’ll be back Marc Emery, Vancouver’s famous marijuana activist, has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in the United States in a negotiated deal relating to his mail-order business that sold marijuana seeds throughout North America. We caught up with him […] More »
November-December 2009

Crack down on organized crime and save addicts — Legalize Hard Drugs

Katie Addleman

The misbegotten “War on Drugs” has funnelled billions into the pockets of criminals, and drug use is higher than ever. We’re addicted to policy failure — time to kick the habit Shortly after Vancouver was named the host of the 2010 Olympics, Naomi Klein was seething about injustice again. “The Vancouver-Whistler Olympic bid presented the […] More »