Essential information for an informed debate about cannabis policy.
SUPPORT for Cannabis Law Reform:   OPPOSITION to Cannabis Law Reform:
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Conservative Opposition to Cannabis Law Reform



Stephen Harper and Vic Toews spoke at the Canadian Professional Police Association (CPA) Annual Lobby Day.

Harper's get-tough speech draws warm reception from police association
April 3, 2006 - CBC News
*also see CBC News video link

Press release from the CPA


Prime Minister Harper opens the Canadian Police Association (CPA) Annual Legislative Conference
April 3, 2006 - Ottawa, Ontario

Listen to Steven Harper's speech to the CPA regarding his intent to increase punishment of cannabis offenses


Read Vic Toews' Speech to the CPA
April 3, 2006 - Ottawa, Ontario
Speech for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Vic Toews, Q.C. Canadian Professional Police Association

  CPA lobby priorities:
1- Canada's Drug Strategy
2- Police Officers' Bill of Rights
3- Canada's Corrections and Parole Systems.

"The CPA does not support or endorse the legalization of marijuana or any other currently illicit substances. Drugs are illegal because drugs are harmful. [?] Illegal drugs, including cannabis, present adverse health effects."

"While Canada’s existing laws have been successful [?] in limiting the harm caused by illicit drug use..."
Related information and news articles:
Harper urges police pressure on crime bills
April 27, 2007 - CBC News

Harper, speaking at an annual appreciation dinner for York Regional Police, said the Conservatives have introduced 11 crime bills last year but nine have yet to be passed by the House of Commons.
"I would suggest that you not hesitate to pressure … all parties to get on with passing this legislation," Harper said
Harper Wrong To Ask Police To Lobby

April 29, 2007 - Edmonton Journal

Police officers across Canada should politely decline Prime Minister Stephen Harper's invitation to become active political allies in his quest to toughen an array of criminal laws.

In a speech Thursday, Harper urged police officers to use their considerable numbers and position in society to lobby opposition parties. But such a call to arms, metaphoricaly speaking, is both inappropriate and dangerous. It could fuel speculation that the prime minister has far too cosy a relationship with the top brass of the RCMP and other police forces.

The Canadian public deserves to feel confident that their police forces keep to their assigned role as objective, apolitical peace officers who respect the rule and the spirit of the law.

The Toronto Police Services Board is actively seeking to limit the rights of the police association executive to be politically active. The Board wants to prevent the association from its practice of endorsing candidates in local, provincial and federal elections based on the performance of the elected officials."

Stephen Harper

Harper promised tougher sentences for drug trafficking, such as mandatory minimum prison sentences of at least two years for the most serious drug offenders.

He said that crack dealers, marijuana grow operators and crystal meth manufacturers "have to know that if they are caught, they will not get a slap on the wrist."

"They will go to prison," Harper told a crowd in Burnaby, B.C. "It is a serious crime, and they will do serious time."

"A Conservative government will not reintroduce the Liberal plan to decriminalize the possession of marijuana, and we will never endorse the NDP idea of legalizing it outright," the Conservative leader said.

Source: Question shows Harper's, Layton's health split
December 3, 2005 - News


"If we legalize drugs like marijuana, it will make it easier for our children to get hold of it," Harper said during his speech.

"That is why my government is opposed to legalizing drugs -- especially because of the damage it can do to our cities and our communities because of increased addiction and crime."

Source: Pot not a Conservative priority April 14, 2006 - The Fulcrum (U. of Ottawa)

Comment: It is ironic that illegal drugs are known as "controlled substances." In the current unregulated market it's easier for young people to purchase drugs than it is to purchase alcohol or tobacco.

Conversely, in a regulated market age controls can be implemented, as well as quality standards and accurate product information.


Harper's reaction to the 2002 report by the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs:

Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper says Wednesday's Senate committee report advocating the legalization of marijuana merely underlines the need to reform the Senate.

Mr. Harper said he was concerned about the Senators' view that marijuana should be available for purchase to anyone over the age of 16.

"This should once again raise concerns about the need to reform the Senate, the need to have a legislative body that is elected and accountable and acts that way," he said.

"If we would have had that, it would have tempered some of the [committee's] recommendations," said the Opposition leader, who was in Barrie Thursday for an Alliance caucus meeting.

Senate reform, which has become a largely dormant issue, was once one of the most visible policies of the Alliance's precursor, the Western-based Reform party.

Source: Harper says Senate reform needed in wake of pot report
September 5, 2002 - Globe and Mail

While a re-examination of the country's drug laws is needed, Harper said Thursday that recommendations in the "fairly radical" report border on advocating pot use.

"It really quite distresses me," he said.

The father of a three-year-old girl and five-year-old boy said he doesn't buy arguments that alcohol is more harmful than smoking marijuana.

"As a parent, I would be more concerned about pot use than alcohol use by my children, even in moderation," said Harper, an asthmatic who has never smoked.

Source: Pot Legalization Report Shows Need For Senate Reform, Alliance Leader Says
Sept. 5, 2002 The Ottawa Citizen

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson

"Our government has no intention to decriminalize marijuana. ... It's much stronger than it was years ago and, in some cases, marijuana may be laced with more dangerous chemicals. There is also evidence it may lead to experimentation with other drugs. It's not something we want to encourage."
- Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.

Source: Your Fate If Arrested For Pot Smoking July 8, 2007 - The Chronicle

MP Gary Lunn

Gary Lunn - Conservative MP (Saanich-Gulf Islands)


Saanich-Gulf Islands Conservative MP Gary Lunn said that abandoning legislation decriminalizing marijuana is more about priorities.

"This is not one of our priorities, this is not one of our policies - so we're not going there," Lunn said.

The Conservatives are more concerned about such issues as the proposed federal accountability legislation, reducing the GST and justice reforms, he said.

Lunn acknowledges that the party's position on pot is about more than being concerned about other priorities. And he also has his own concerns about what might happen if marijuana was decriminalized.

"Do you send the right message out to young people by legalizing marijuana? Is it a stepping stone to harder drugs? I'm not convinced it's the right road to go down," Lunn said.

Source: New Pot Policy Decried April 12, 2006 - Esquimalt News

Toronto police chief William Blair

"Police forces across the GTA, taking their cue from the new federal Conservative government, are again cracking down on the simple possession of marijuana."

Source: Police crack down on marijuana users April 3, 2006 - The Toronto Star

Vic Toews

Justice Minister Vic Toews is making it unmistakably clear that the Conservative government has no intention of decriminalizing the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana, Canadian Press reported.
"It is a very short answer and the answer is ‘No," he replied.
"We have no plans to bring any bill forward."
Source: No change to marijuana laws: Toews March 17, 2006 - Focus On The Family/Today's Family News

Mr. Toews would like to, "eliminate house arrest and impose mandatory prison sentences for drug dealers and violent gun crimes"
Source: House of Commons Debates - September 26, 2005
"Mr. Speaker, across Canada there has been a rapid increase in marijuana grow operations and crystal meth labs, destroying entire neighbourhoods. Along with the drug dealing is a marked increase in gun related violence. How many more people need to die in our streets before the government decides to eliminate house arrest and impose mandatory prison sentences for drug dealers and violent gun crimes?

Bill C-9 - Conservative legislation to end house arrest for "serious" crime (including grow-ops)

Myron Thompson

Central Alberta Conservative MPs Myron Thompson and Bob Mills both say they support their government's decision not to decriminalize the possession of marijuana.

"I don't think that we need to open up the Pandora's Box by starting to do things that are against the will of our authorities, the police officers across the country who are opposed to that idea."
- Myron Thompson, MP, Wild Rose Riding, Alberta

Source: MPs say no to decriminalizing pot possession (PDF file) March 14, 2006 - Innisfail Province-Booster

Despite considerable support from Conservative voters for cannabis law reform,
the new Harper government has no plans to revive the issue.

A comparison of cannabis use rates in two different countries:
• Holland
- where cannabis is sold through licensed "coffeeshops"
• U.S.A.
- where the federal government's approach is a War on Drugs

Download the 2000 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PDF)

Politicians who support prohibition are supporting organized crime

Cannabis prohibition is expensive, ineffective, and causing significant harms to Canadian society.
For the good of ALL Canadians, it's time to end cannabis prohibition.

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