Pubdate: Fri, 23 Nov 2007
Source: Niagara This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Paul Forsyth


Saying illegal drugs are dangerous and destructive, Niagara Falls MP
and federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General Rob Nicholson
introduced legislation Tuesday that will mean mandatory jail time for
people who produce and sell illicit drugs.

"Drug producers and dealers who threaten the safety of our communities
must face tougher penalties," said Nicholson.

The proposed legislation will mean mandatory prison sentences for drug
offences involving organized crime, violence and youth. At present,
the legislation has no minimum penalties.

The amendments include:

- - A one-year mandatory prison sentence 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 prison 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 prison sentence for running a large marijuana
grow operation of at least 500 plants.

- - The maximum penalty for cannabis production would increase from
seven to 14 years imprisonment.

- - Tougher penalties will be introduced for trafficking date-rape

Nicholson said the tougher penalties are meant to combat grow-ops and
drug labs appearing in residential areas in ever-increasing numbers
and Canadian youth being exposed to drugs at young ages.
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