Tories push tougher penalties for drug dealers

Globe and Mail Update

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson unveiled new legislation Tuesday that would impose mandatory prison sentences for dealing illegal drugs.

“Drug producers and dealers who threaten the safety of our communities must face tougher penalties,” Mr. Nicholson said in a release. “This is why our government is moving to impose mandatory jail time for serious drug offences that involve organized crime, violence or youth.”

The proposed amendments to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) will ensure that certain serious drug offences will result in mandatory prison sentences. Currently there are no minimum penalties under the CDSA. The amendments include:

• A one-year mandatory prison sentence will be imposed for dealing drugs such as marijuana when carried out for organized crime purposes, or when a weapon or violence is involved;

• A two-year mandatory sentence for dealing drugs such as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines to youth, or for dealing those drugs near a school or an area normally frequented by youth;

• A two-year mandatory sentence for running a large marijuana grow operation of at least 500 plants;

• The maximum penalty for cannabis production would increase to 14 years imprisonment from seven;

• Tougher penalties will be introduced for trafficking GHB and date-rape drugs.

“Drugs are dangerous and destructive, yet we see Canadian youth being exposed to and taking drugs at such young ages, and grow-ups and drug labs appearing in our residential areas,” Mr. Nicholson said. “By introducing these changes, our message is clear: If you sell or produce drugs – you'll pay with jail time.”

Tuesday's announcement continues a law-and-order theme for Stephen Harper's Conservative government this week.

On Monday, Mr. Nicholson unveiled two changes to the Youth Criminal Justice Act, one of which would make it easier to keep young people charged with crimes in custody before their trial if they are deemed a risk to society.

The second would allow judges to consider whether the sentence imposed upon a young offender would sufficiently deter the offender – and others like him or her – from committing the same crime in the future.

The Supreme Court found last year that the act does not allow judges who simply want to deter others from committing crime the latitude to hand down a harsher sanction than would otherwise be called for.

With a report from Gloria Galloway


  1. You (Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa - Home of family court flagrant abusers of judicial POWER., Canada) wrote: Stockwell Day will remain "dangerous and destructive" indefinitely as a result of his pandering and posturing to his republican masters south of the border. The real unspoken issue here is "private enterprise jails". It's American big business and they are pushing for to increase a bigger slice out of the Canadian population who are incarcerated for no other pupose than political correctness. Many of these long sentences do little to deter crime other to encourage the legal crime of creating compulsory sentencing guidelines that make Judges accountants rather than administrators of justice. If we give Judges judicial descretion, don't treat them like employees at MacDonalds with cash registers that have pictures of offences on them. The Conservative Republican belief of throwing more in jail for longer periods may go over well to the upper parts of conservative society and woe betide anyone who suggests anything other than being tough on crime. The problem is, its a simple minded politically correct, politically winning stupid Dum idea that fails any legal reasoning and fails the practical economic considerations. Just how much does it cost to lock someone up beyond the time of showing any further effect? Why lock people up when a sentence of a fraction of the time has the same effect? Why lock em up if a longer sentence is just going to create more social problems. Simple minded politically correct moronic "Stockwell Days' don't give a dam about the social costs or rational logical legal reasoning which passes right over the head of Stockwell Day and his Republican / Conservative simple politically correct selfish brains. Stockwell Day is famous for shooting his mouth with legal opinions on, law order and justice while showing that his brain is simply incapable of doing the basic logical legal reasoning that truly considers the best long term interests of Canadians.