TOUGHER DRUG LAWS DON'T WORK
For years, the police have claimed that so much marijuana is grown in
Canada that this country has become a major supplier to the United
Soft sentences are to blame, the police say, and the government has
agreed: Legislation doubling maximum sentences for growing pot is
expected in the fall.
Before that happens, however, federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler
might want to read the most recent report on the drug situation in the
United States, prepared by the U.S. Justice Department.
It turns out that Canada is not the largest foreign source of
marijuana in the U.S. -- not by a long shot.
"Mexico," the report says, "is the source of the vast majority" of
America's pot. In fact, Mexican pot accounted for 98 per cent of all
marijuana seized at U.S. border crossings.
At the Mexican border, the crossing with the highest seizure total
netted 88,000 kilograms; the equivalent crossing at the Canadian
border seized just 2,000 kilograms.
Even more important is the report's declaration that the single
largest source of marijuana in the U.S. -- is the U.S. itself.
Marijuana is grown abundantly throughout the United States, both
indoors and out, in operations from a few plants in the window to
giant outdoor farms.
These growers can often be prosecuted in the U.S. federal system,
where they are routinely hit with long prison sentences and
devastating asset forfeitures.
Otherwise, they are punished in the state systems, which can be even
In California, the biggest pot producer, growers have even handed life
sentences under the state's "three strikes" law.
Clearly, Canada's police are wrong about both the problem and the
So why is the government following their advice on marijuana