Pubdate: Wed, 08 Jun 2011 Source: Nanaimo Daily News (CN BC) Copyright: 2011 Nanaimo Daily News Contact: http://www.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1608 Author: Kirk Tousaw, Executive Director, Beyond Prohibition Foundation Vancouver Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n370/a04.html?1154 TORY CRIME AGENDA ABOUT ENFORCING A FAILED POLICY Re: 'Proposed crime laws aim for traffickers, not users' (Daily News, June 4) Letter-writer James Corder is apparently willing to gobble up government talking points about the proposed crime bills. He may not be a fan of the "wacky tobaccy" or of letter writer Russell Barth, but Barth is much more knowledgeable about the impact of mandatory jail sentences than is Corder. Virtually every expert who has studied this issue (including those in Canada's Justice Ministry) conclude that mandatory minimum laws are utter failures that do more harm than good, prevent nobody from buying or selling drugs and disproportionately impact street level drug sellers -- most of whom are also drug users selling only to offset the high cost of currently illegal drugs. In other words, users not traffickers "peddling stuff to kids." Indeed, the mythological pusher in the playground is a boogeyman long used to justify repressive and dangerous prohibition laws. In the real world, the people selling drugs to teenagers are other teenagers. The reason they get into the trade is easy money. Easy money exists because of prohibition. Let's be clear: high-level drug dealers and adults that deal drugs to kids already go to jail in this country and usually for terms far longer than the proposed mandatory minimums. These laws are not about targeting those people. They are about enforcing a failed policy at the expense of the taxpayer and community safety. Mr. Corder should take a moment to educate himself before beaking off. Kirk Tousaw Vancouver - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.