Mandatory sentences for drug crimes revived by Tories
The Conservative government's revival of the controversial mandatory sentencing for drug crimes (read marijuana) has riled many, in particular when mandatory sentencing for the possession of as little as six marijuana plants in a tenant's rental home could result in 9 months in prison.
Vancouver's New Democratic Member of Parliament Libby Davies argument is that mandatory sentencing for six marijuana plants will cost billions of dollars clogging up the prison system. One sociology student states this bill is aimed at young people.
If it will assumed that mandatory sentencing will cost billions of dollars to taxpayers, does this not tell the big picture of the seriousness of drugs and crime in Canada?
Bottom line, one positive aspect it seems is the mandatory sentencing takes away a judge's personal decision in handing down sentences contrary to what is stated in the law books for offences.
Mandatory sentencing proposed by the Conservatives should reduce or eliminate plea bargaining by both prosecutors and defendant.
Reducing endless appeals would saving the taxpayers money and free up the courts for the next criminal to be tried.
The mandatory sentencing came about as Canadians felt that sentences for drug offences did not meet the prison time served.
Bail, plea bargaining, credit for time served, as well as repeat offences by criminals showed the current justice meted out by the courts did not act as a deterrent to those career criminals.
Landlords who rent their buildings to tenants seem to be the big victims as well, as damages to the rental dwelling by tenants operating as a base for illegal drugs are not insurable for any losses which can amount to thousands, tens of thousands of dollars, if not complete demolition of his rental property caused by the tenants.
Certainly disturbing, as the tenant walks away from the courts a free person with a slap on the wrist.
Once a rental property has been targeted as an illegal drug operation, the municipality places that home on it's books. Banks, mortgage companies and insurance companies have access to these municipal records at renewal time.
If a landlord cannot get insurance for his rental property, then the landlord may have a hard time getting financing, mortgage renewal or insurance for his rental property. Thus a tenement is born, like Surrey's Whalley District or sections of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
When properties are stuck with a bad name due to criminal activity, housing shortages begin for those looking for a safe area for their children, demands for housing by protester's soon come about and politicians like Libby Davies are front and centre demanding something be done about it.
All drugs, including marijuana and criminal activity go hand in hand, Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and Surrey's Whalley District are just a small example. It is inevitable.
Though smoking marijuana in public (Vancouver Public Library protest) does not seem to be illegal, growing it is illegal.
While this may seem unfair to some, the mandatory sentencing groups small personal use marijuana growers with the million dollar major grow operators, because large scale monetary greed and crime is the big spoiler by those who take it to the nth degree with little thought to others who live next door or the community as a whole.
Just be thankful you do not live in countries where life imprisonment or execution is the norm for drug possession.
So coming front and centre in cause and effect, while it will costs money to incarcerate drug offenders, it will clean up neighbourhoods eventually and provide safe areas to raise families.
Many state Marijuana is harmless and should be legalised. If only that were true, while smoking it may be harmless for some. The sale and large scale growing of marijuana is not when criminal activity is involved.
Vancouver is fast becoming a mini Mexico with home invasions, gang wars and murders over a so called innocuous weed. Perhaps Mexico too at some point thought marijuana was harmless too, until headless corpses started littering their city streets, while we have mysterious feet washing up on our shore with no explanation how they came to be? Who knows for sure.
Something detractors, like MP Libby Davies and others seem unclear about when you look at the big picture.