Pubdate: Thu, 9 Dec 2010
Source: Red River Valley Echo, The (CN MB)
Copyright: 2010 Altona Red River Valley Echo
Author: Greg Vandermeulen


If you are the first person to do something, whatever it is, there's
one of two reasons for that. Either you are a visionary, or the thing
you are doing is so stupid nobody else would even consider it.

The NDP's latest strategy to fight drug trafficking falls into the
latter category.

Attorney General Andrew Swan announced legislation allowing the
province to suspend the drivers license of those who drove a vehicle
as part of a drug trafficking offence.

At best this is a smoke screen to cover up the lack of appropriate
response from the province, and at worst the new policy could be
hindrance to any chance of these repeat offenders going straight,
forcing them to remain in a life of crime.

The new provision will suspend the drivers licence for one year on
first conviction, five years for a second conviction, 10 years for a
third conviction and for life on a fourth conviction.

The convictions don't have to be specifically for drug trafficking.
Any offences such as impaired driving or driving while disqualified
will count in determining repeat offenders.

Swan was right about something. It makes for a great announcement.
After all, to oppose this policy sounds like you are in favour of drug

Of course, that's absolutely untrue. In fact the reason this type of
policy is even necessary, is proof that our current laws don't punish
drug dealers enough.

If the drug dealers were in jail where they belonged, why would we
need to suspend their drivers' licenses? Dealers are the dregs of
society, people that don't mind ruining others lives in order to make
a buck, or support their own habit.

While their is obviously a significant difference between a dealer of
marijuana, or a meth supplier. The former is at worst contributing to
making people dull, uninteresting, and downright stupid. A meth dealer
is on the same level of someone who attempts murder and should be
punished accordingly.

Prison and parole conditions should be used to punish and control
these people, but pulling a drivers license should not be one of them.

Sure you may be preventing them from "legally" driving drugs to a
location, but you are also preventing them from going to the grocery
store for their families, or getting jobs that could put them back on
the right path.

A lack of a drivers licence is a minor inconvenience in a life of
crime, but a major stumbling block to getting out of that life.

The new legislation is effective at one thing. It gives the illusion
that the NDP are tough on crime, and that they are actually doing
something about it.

It also ensures that your friendly neighbourhood drug dealer will
always be there, because what else is he going to do? 
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