Pubdate: Thu, 29 Jul 2010
Source: Pique Newsmagazine (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 John Weston
Author: John Weston


G.D Maxwell indulged in some fancy phallic phraseology in his July 22
opinion ("I won't be sticking up for my member"), but failed to grasp
why the Private Member's Bill I introduced has attracted overwhelming
support from people of all political spectra. There is always a place
for humour but not at the expense of what is at stake in this debate.
Mr. Maxwell, the Bill creates new penalties for people who intend to
manufacture crystal meth or ecstasy and who gather the ingredients of
those substances.

The Bill passed Third Reading last month with support of all Members
of Parliament. It was the first and only Private Member's Bill in the
40th Session of Parliament to pass unanimously. Additional support
came from municipalities, such as Whistler's Mayor and Council,
regional districts, First Nations, the RCMP, the B.C. Association of
Police Chiefs, health care workers and struggling addicts.

Mr. Maxwell took me to task for an emphasis on enforcement rather than
narcotics-related harm reduction.

However, even the most adamant supporters of harm reduction, such as
NDP MP Libby Davies, voted in favour of the Bill. Why? Because
regardless of party, she agrees with the extreme dangers posed by
these drugs. Anyone who doubts this warning can refer to Ms. Catherine
Spanevello, the parent of a daughter who died from using Ecstasy once.
The RCMP have referred us to Ms. Spanevello's case to refute the
uninformed view, implied by Mr. Maxwell, that Ecstasy may be safe; in
fact, drugs distributed as "Ecstasy" commonly contain Crystal Meth.

The harm reduction debate relates to users. Bill C-475 doesn't
penalize users; it goes after producers. Almost everyone I've met,
including the long list of supporters listed above, thinks the people
who profit from getting our kids addicted to these things should be
punished. Bill C-475 targets the high level drug manufacturers and
traffickers, NOT the kids on the street.

John Weston, MP

West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country 
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